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Brij Bhushan’s Aide To Be New Chief Of Wrestling Federation Of India

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New Delhi: WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s close aide, Sanjay Singh, has emerged as the newly elected president of the Wrestling Federation of India. Following several delays earlier in the year, the elections for the Wrestling Federation of India took place on Thursday, December 21. Voting took place earlier on Thursday in New Delhi, and the counting began soon after the conclusion of the voting process.

The UWW had suspended the WFI for not meeting the specified deadline for conducting elections In August, resulting in Indian wrestlers participating as neutral athletes in global events over the past few months.

Elections were conducted in the capital city for 15 positions, including president, treasurer, secretary-general, and senior vice-president of the Wrestling Federation of India. The contest for the presidential role was between former Commonwealth Games Gold medalist Anita Sheoran and Sanjay Singh, the vice-president of Uttar Pradesh Wrestling Federation.

Anita Sheoran, who is from Haryana and is running from Odisha, aimed to become the first female president of the national wrestling body. Backed by star wrestlers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and Vinesh Phogat, she protested against outgoing Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexual harassment and stalking of female wrestlers.

On the flip side, Sanjay Singh, a close associate of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has promised to restore wrestling’s glory days, a sport that has recently produced multiple Olympic medalists for India. However, wrestlers like Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia expressed reservations about Sanjay Singh’s candidacy during their meeting with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur earlier this month.

The widely discussed protests began on January 18th as wrestlers gathered at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, openly expressing allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation against Singh. The athletes’ outcry aimed not only at seeking justice for themselves but also at create a safer environment for future wrestlers. Their demands included transparent WFI elections and the exclusion of Singh and his family members from the federation. The protests persisted until June, at which point the wrestlers opted to end them following assurances of action from the Sports Ministry.

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