WFI polls: 24 candidates in the fray in final list - Hindustan Times

WFI polls: 24 candidates in the fray in final list

By, New Delhi
Aug 07, 2023 10:50 PM IST

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s camp confident of sweeping every post in the elections to be held on August 12

A total of 24 candidates will vie for the 15 posts in the upcoming Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections with the returning officer, Justice (retd) MM Kumar, releasing the final list of those contesting on Monday. The election is scheduled on Saturday.

Former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh(PTI)
Former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh(PTI)

It will be a straight contest for the key posts of president, senior vice-president and secretary general between candidates from former WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's camp and former wrestler Anita Sheoran’s group. Both groups have filed nominations for all 15 posts though Singh’s side is expected to win most seats.

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Elections will be held for the posts of president (1), senior vice-president (1), vice-president (4), secretary-general (1), treasurer (1), joint secretary (2) and executive member (5). Singh, who is not eligible to contest having completed a maximum 12-year tenure, his supporters are confident of sweeping the polls.

A member of the Sheoran’s camp, who didn’t want to be identified, said: “It will be premature to comment on the elections. We have left the results to God.”

The August 3-5 window for withdrawal of nominations saw only UP Wrestling Association vice-president Sanjay Kumar Singh and Sheoran in the fray for the president’s post.

Sheoran, a 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games gold medallist, was a key witness in the case of sexual harassment filed against Singh, which is currently before a Delhi court.

The 38-year-old is the lone female candidate, and an unlikely win will make her the first woman president of the wrestling body.

Sanjay Kumar, a trusted aide of Singh, said: “We will sweep the elections, there are no two ways about it,” he said. “We have the support of 21 out of 25 state units, so you can say the result is a foregone conclusion. I would like to restart the national camp, conduct domestic competitions and bring wrestling back on track.”

The other key positions of secretary general and treasurer will also have only two contestants each, one from both sides. While Darshan Lal from Singh's camp and Prem Chand Lochab from Sheoran's group will contest for the post of secretary general after Jai Prakash stepped back, the treasure's spot will be contested by Dushyant Sharm and Satya Pal Singh Deshwal.

The post of senior vice president will be contested by Devender Kadian from Sheoran's side and the seasoned ID Nanavati from Singh's group. Haryana's Rohtash Singh, running for one of the two joint secretary posts on offer, has reportedly switched sides and has joined Sheoran's side.

"That doesn't matter much as we still have two contestants (Bellippady Shetty and RK Purushotham) from our side running for the two joint secretary posts. We are backing both of them to win," another insider said.

Final list of candidates:

President: Anita Sheoran, Sanjay Kumar Singh

Senior vice-president: Devender Kadian, ID Nanavati

Vice-president: Asit Kumar Saha, Jai Prakash, Kartar Singh, Mohan Yadav, N Phoni

Secretary-general: Darshan Lal, Prem Chand Lochab

Treasurer: Dushyant Sharma, Satya Pal Singh Deshwal

Joint secretary: Bellippady Gunaranjan Shetty, Kuldip Singh, RK Purushotham, Rohtash Singh

Executive members: Ajay Vaid, M Loganathan, Neivikuolie Khatsii, Prashant Rai, Rajnish Kumar, Ratul Sarma, Ummed Singh

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    Shantanu Srivastava is an experienced sports journalist who has worked across print and digital media. He covers cricket and Olympic sports.

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