Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and his son Karan are not part of the electoral college for the upcoming Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections, but the list surprisingly includes members who are not associated with the existing state bodies.
According to the WFI Constitution, only members of the state executive can be part of the electoral college for the elections.
“The affiliate unit shall nominate only the executive members of their Unit to represent in the elections,” reads the WFI Constitution.
Anita Sheoran, who is one of the witnesses in the sexual harassment case against Singh, has been named in the list as Odisha representative for the August 12 polls.
The 38-year-old Sheoran, the 2010 CWG gold medallist, hails from Haryana and is employed with the state police.
Similarly, Prem Chand Lochab’s name figures as a representative from Gujarat when he is actually the secretary of Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB).
Also, Assam has been given voting rights following the ad-hoc panel’s surprise decision to grant membership to the state.
“How can an ad-hoc panel grant membership to a state. It’s a decision that is taken by the General Council. It’s difficult to understand how this decision has been taken,” said a WFI source.
“This is a clear violation of WFI Constitution that people who are not part of the state bodies have been nominated and approved in the electoral college list,” added the source.
Sports minister Anurag Thakur had promised to the protesting wrestlers led by Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia that none from Brij Bhushan’s family will contest the elections.
While Singh, who is the UP president and his son Karan, who is vice president in the same state body, have not entered, the outgoing chief’s son-in-law Vishal Singh will be a representative from Bihar in the polls.
Maharashtra and Tripura will not have any representatives at the elections as the Returning officer deemed claims of both factions from the former “ineligible” while Tripura has remained disaffiliated since 2016.
Two representatives from each state unit will be allowed to vote.
Singh, a Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh’s Kaisergunj, is facing multiple charges of sexual harassment and is currently on bail.
He is not eligible to contest as he has already completed 12 years as an office-bearer, which is the maximum term allowed as per the National Sports Code.
Accordingly, UP’s state unit will be represented by Prem Kumar Mishra and Sanjay Singh.
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