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None of Brij Bhushan's family members to contest WFI elections: Sources

With date of Wrestling Federation of India elections announced, it is said that no member from Singh family will contest it.

None of Brij Bhushans family members to contest WFI elections: Sources

U-23 World Wrestling Championships 2022 in Pontevedra, Spain (Source: United World Wrestling)



Updated: 14 Jun 2023 3:18 AM GMT

The family members of outgoing WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh will not contest the upcoming federation elections despite eligibility, reliable sources told PTI on Tuesday.

The Wrestling Federation of India elections will be held on July 6 for the post of president, senior vice-president, four vice-presidents, secretary-general, treasurer, two joint secretaries, and five executive members.

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur had assured the protesting wrestlers that neither Singh's family members nor his associates will be allowed to contest the impending elections, following which they had halted their protest till June 15.

Singh's son Karan Bhushan heads the Uttar Pradesh Wrestling Association while his son-in-law Aditya Pratap Singh is head of the Bihar unit.

"They had a discussion and have decided that neither his son Karan nor his son-in-law Aditya will file nominations for WFI elections," a source close to the Singh family said.

"In the current circumstances, it is not advisable to do something that further fuels the controversy," said the source.

Both Karan and Aditya will, however, participate in the elections and exercise their voting rights. The outgoing chief Singh himself is ineligible to compete since he has completed 12 years as President.

The Sports Code does not allow elections after serving three consecutive terms of four years each. It was being feared by the wrestlers, though, Singh will not hold any position in the federation officially, he will still rule the sports body by installing either Karan or Aditya or both in key positions.

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 Singh's family members have agreed to step aside, it remains to be seen which of his associates are asked to stay away from the elections.

Thakur had said that the protesting wrestlers will be consulted while forming the new executive body. BJP's Haryana chief Om Prakash Dhankar and former Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) secretary NR Choudhary have expressed interest in contesting elections but are unlikely to get into the fray.

To be eligible for contesting elections, the 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 will have voting rights. A few units which were dissolved earlier by WFI -- Karnataka, Maharashtra, Haryana -- have staked claim to be the rightful state bodies for representation in the elections.

Returning Officer Mahesh Mittal Kumar, who is a retired high court judge, will have to decide which body from among the rival factions gets to vote.

The last date for receiving two nominations from each state and union territory for constituting the electoral college has been fixed as June 19 and the scrutiny will be completed by June 22.

The submission of nominations for elections will commence on June 23 and conclude on June 25, which will be followed by the preparation and display of the nominations, while the scrutiny of the nomination papers will take place on June 28.

The candidates will be able to withdraw their nominations between June 28 and July 1, following which the final list of contesting candidates will be put up on July 2.

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