Restricted to a clerical role under the previous WFI chief, Vinod Tomar allegedly gained unprecedented power under the BJP MP’s tenure.
‘Netaji trusts me a lot’
“Netaji trusts me a lot but why is that something only he will tell you. He has left the entire office to me,” claimed Tomar.
With a graduate degree from Delhi University, he used to work as a consultant with the union human resources development ministry before joining the federation as assistant secretary in October 2002.
He claims to have helped the federation cut down on spending by picking cheaper tenders. “Indian wrestlers won medals at the Olympics because of the changes introduced during Netaji’s tenure, but it was me who introduced those changes. So the credit for Olympic medals goes to me as well.”
‘Hurt, government didn’t consult me’
Asked about the absence of an internal complaints committee as mandated by the Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act, 2013, he said, “I personally have not read Vishakha guidelines till now. There are around 22 men in our executive council but none of them are aware of these things. So that’s why we never had one.”
At that point, someone knocked at the door and told Tomar that “netaji has been waiting” for him. Tomar promptly told this reporter to “wrap the interview here”. “I have to also visit the temple…my entire career is at stake. I am deeply hurt that the government did not even consult me once before suspending me, knowing I have worked for so many years.”
Newslaundry has sent a questionnaire to Tarun Pareek, under secretary to the government of India, who issued Tomar’s suspension letter, asking if the ministry of youth affairs and sports is aware of Tomar’s continued presence at the WFI office.
Newslaundry also reached out to SAI deputy director Prashant Singh for comment. He asked us to contact Nanu Bhasin, additional director general at PIB. Bhasin responded saying that the query has been “forwarded”. This report will be updated if a response is received.