Elections to be held for Wrestling Federation of India on Dec 21- The New Indian Express



Express News Service

CHENNAI: The much-awaited elections to the executive committee of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will be held on December 21. Returning officer MM Kumar, retired Chief Justice of the High Court of J&K, issued a notification in this regard.

As has been reported by this daily over the last few days, the RO observed that all stages — except for polling, counting of votes and declaration of result — have been completed. After consulting the ad-hoc committee, which is managing the sport in the country in absence of the WFI, announced the date of voting.

The elections were stayed by Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 11 just a day before the polling.

Later, the Supreme Court vacated the stay.

As per the revised schedule, polling, if necessary, will be held during the special general body meeting on December 21 from 11 am to 1 pm while counting of votes will begin from 1:30 pm onwards. The results will be declared once the counting of votes gets over.

However, the outcome of the result will be subject to writ petition filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

“The entire process of elections shall adhere to the stipulations and relevant provisions of the ratified constitution of the WFI and the Model Guidelines, 2011 issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India. The result of the above elections shall however be subject to outcome of the Writ Petition (CWP) No. 16935/2023 pending before the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court,” said the notification. The next hearing of the petition is scheduled in February next year.

Before the stay, former Commonwealth Games gold medallist woman wrestler Anita Sheoran was in the fray against Sanjay Kumar Singh, a candidate from the Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s faction, for the president’s post.

Darshan Lal was the candidate from Brij Bhushan’s camp while Railway Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) secretary Prem Chand Lochab represented another faction for the post of secretary.

A controversy was kicked off in January this year when top wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik — along with multiple world medalist Vinesh Phogat — levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Brij Bhushan.

Later, the government set up an ad-hoc panel to run the sport in the country and Brij Bhushan was sidelined.

In the meantime, United World Wrestling, the world governing body, also suspended the WFI forcing the country’s wrestlers to compete under the UWW banner in the World Championships.

The latest announcement means the schedule for the senior national championship, announced by the ad-hoc panel on Friday, may change.

The championship will be hosted by the RSPB in Jaipur from January 2 to 5. The last date to send entries is December 22.

However, as per the revised schedule, by then, a newly elected WFI will be in place which in turn may like to hold the nationals.

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