BJP MP and outgoing WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. File | Photo Credit: PTI
The much-awaited elections of the Wrestling Federation of India will take place on July 6, the returning officer announced in a notification issued on Tuesday. Family members of outgoing WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will not contest, reliable sources told PTI on Tuesday.
The WFI election is for the position of president, senior vice-president, four vice-presidents, secretary-general, treasurer, two joint secretaries, and five executive members. It is also known that the election results will be announced on the same day.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur assured the protesting wrestlers that the family members of Mr. Singh or his colleagues, following which they called off their protest till June 15.
The son of Mr. Singh Karan Bhushan heads the Uttar Pradesh Wrestling Association while his son-in-law Aditya Pratap Singh heads the Bihar unit.
“They had a discussion and decided that neither his son Karan nor his son-in-law Aditya will file nominations for the WFI elections,” said a source close to the Singh family.
“In the current circumstances, it is not advisable to do something that will further fuel the controversy,” the source said.
Both Karan and Aditya will, however, participate in the elections and exercise their voting rights.
The outgoing leader Mr. Singh himself is not eligible to contest as he has completed 12 years as President. The Sports Code does not allow elections after serving three consecutive terms of four years each.
This was feared by the wrestlers, however, Mr. Singh will not hold any official position in the federation, he will still manage the sports body by installing either Karan or Aditya or both in key positions.
Mr. Singh, 66, has been accused of sexual harassment and intimidation by the country’s top wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia.
The Delhi Police has filed two FIRs against him and is likely to file a charge-sheet in the case soon.
While the family members of Mr. Singh has agreed to step aside, it remains to be seen which of his colleagues will be asked to stay away from the election.
said Mr. Thakur that the protesting wrestlers will be consulted while forming the new executive body.
The BJP leader has expressed interest
BJP’s Haryana chief Om Prakash Dhankar and former Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) secretary NR Choudahry have expressed interest in contesting the elections but are unlikely to be involved in the fray.
To be eligible for contesting elections, a candidate has to be a member of the executive committee of a state unit and neither Dhankar nor Choudhary holds such a position.
A total of 25 state units will participate in the elections. Each state unit can send two representatives. Both members shall have voting rights.
Several units dissolved earlier by the WFI — Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana — have claimed to be the rightful state bodies for representation in elections.
Returning Officer Mahesh Mittal Kumar, who is a retired high court judge, has to decide which body from the rival factions gets to vote.
The last date for receiving two nominations from each state and union territory for the formation of the electoral college was set on June 19 and the evaluation will be completed on June 22.
The submission of nominations for the election will begin on June 23 and end on June 25, followed by the preparation and presentation of nominations, while the scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on June 28.
Candidates can withdraw their nominations between June 28 and July 1, after which the final list of participating candidates will be posted on July 2.