Published: 12th August 2022
#WhatTheFAQ: Did AAP government disrespect CWG medallist Divya Kakran?
The wrestler has claimed that she moved to UP after failing to receive any support from the Delhi government despite winning many medals
A bronze medallist at the recently concluded Commonwealth Games 2022 now finds herself embroiled in a political tug-of-war between BJP and AAP. Is this the first time this is happening? How did it turn into a political controversy? We get you all the answers.
Who is Divya Kakran?
Divya Kakran is a 23-year-old wrestler who represented India at the Commonwealth Games this year in Birmingham, England, and managed to win the bronze medal in the 68 kg freestyle category.
What other accolades has she earned?
Kakran is an eight-time winner of the Bharat Kesari Dangal, which is a freestyle wrestling competition organised by the Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs department. She has also won 17 gold medals in the Delhi State Championship. In 2017, she won a gold medal for India at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in the 2018 Asian Games, she won the gold medal.
What is the controversy now?
All those athletes from Delhi who won medals this year at the Commonwealth Games were felicitated by the Government of Delhi, and the award included a cash prize as well. Kakran was not on the list of these athletes. After her achievement at the games, Kakran tweeted that she had received no assistance from the Delhi government. Hailing from a disadvantaged background, she claims that she and her family had to provide for her wrestling career and had no support from the AAP government in Delhi.
Kakran represented Delhi until 2017, after which she moved to Uttar Pradesh. She claims that she began receiving support from the BJP government in UP after her move. In her tweet, she asked to be felicitated by the Delhi government, saying, "I request you that I will be felicitated in the same manner you honour other Delhi wrestlers even if they represent other states."
What is AAP saying?
AAP leaders have claimed that Kakran continued to receive monetary support for her wrestling career until 2017 when she was still representing Delhi. Now that she has moved to another state, she will not be rewarded by the Delhi government. AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj retweeted an old video of the athlete in which she says, "Vote for BJP because we all know what PM Modi and Yogi did for us. Be it sports, education or health, there have been many betterment."
The MLA added that athletes should stay away from politics and slammed the BJP for making the issue political. Replying to Kakran's tweet, Bharadwaj claimed that he did not remember her ever playing for Delhi and that she had always represented UP.
What is BJP saying?
BJP has said that AAP has insulted young athletes of the country with their stand. "If there is one party that relishes in insulting those who raise the honour of our tricolour — be it the jawans or our athletes — it is the Aam Aadmi Party," said BJP spokesperson Shahzad Poonawala.
How did the Delhi government respond?
This is not the first time that Kakran has claimed she received no support from the Delhi government. After her Asian Games feat in 2018 as well, she said that she has had to fend for herself, with no assistance from the Delhi government, which is why she moved to UP. Now, the Delhi government has said that it will look into whether she has never received any assistance from the government despite applying for various sports schemes.