Chandigarh, May 30, 2013: Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab today urged the Union Government to mount pressure on International Olympic Committee for permanently keeping the traditional sport of India Wrestling in the sports events of Olympic.
In a statement issued here, Badal, who is also holding the Sports portfolio, said that though International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not removed wrestling from the list of shortlisted sport events, but the Union Government and Sports Ministry should initiate efforts and register their timely intervention for saving the future of established and budding wrestlers of the country.
Asking the Union Government to seek the cooperation of other nations too for convincing IOC in this regard, Badal said that after Hockey, wrestling was the sports, which brought laurels for the nation by winning 4 medals in Olympics. He said that it was the responsibility of the Union Sports Ministry to safeguard the traditional game of India that has been fetching maximum medals in last few Olympics. He said that time has come that we should torpedo the game plan of western countries that were out to eliminate Asian game that was ensuring Olympic medals for India and Pakistan.
Badal said that Punjab Government would also appeal to World Wrestling Federation to keep in the list of sports events of 2020 Olympic. He said that Indian Government should also seek the cooperation from its neighboring and like-minded countries to put a collective and diplomatic pressure on all concerned countries to maintain the Olympic status of Wrestling.
Meanwhile, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, President Punjab Olympic Association and former Sports Minister of India, also appealed the Union Sports Ministry to launch a concerted campaign to save the Olympic status of Wrestling. He said that western countries were worried from increasing interest of Indian youth in the traditional sports of wrestling and it was their planned conspiracy to out the wrestling from Olympic events. He said that almost every village of the Punjab has a wrestling ring and it was imperative for Union Sports Ministry to take concerted steps to save this traditional game from the extinction besides saving the future of lakhs of budding wrestlers.