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WFI elections: Brij Bhushan camp files nominations with full fanfare

Four candidates, including outgoing Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's close aide Sanjay Singh from UP, filed nominations for the post of president amid

Former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brijbhushan Sharan Singh speaks to the media on wrestlers' protest demanding his arrest, in Gonda on Saturday.

Former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brijbhushan Sharan Singh speaks to the media on wrestlers' protest demanding his arrest, in Gonda on Saturday.

Press Trust of India New Delhi
Four candidates, including outgoing Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's close aide Sanjay Singh from UP, filed nominations for the post of president amid fanfare at the Olympic Bhawan here on Monday.
Darshan Lal from the Chandigarh wrestling body filed his nomination for the post of general secretary, while SP Deswal from Uttarakhand filed his nomination for the post of treasurer from the Brij Bhushan camp.
The Brij Bhushan camp claims to have the support of 22 of the 25 state units and, after filing their nominations, expressed "confidence" of winning all 15 posts during the WFI elections on August 12.
On a day of hectic activity at the Olympic Bhawan, a convoy of nominees and supporters from the Brij Bhushan camp arrived with the "blessings" of the BJP leader, and after extensive paperwork, filed their nominations before former J&K High Court Chief Justice Mahesh Mittal Kumar, the Returning Office appointed for the WFI elections.
The last date for withdrawing nominations is August 7.
"There are four candidates for the post of president, three for senior vice-president, six for vice-president, three for the post of general secretary, two for treasurer, three for joint secretary and nine for executive members' post. Against 15 posts, 30 persons have applied," said Justice Kumar.
"Tomorrow, we will display the list of all the candidates whose nomination papers are found to be in order. It will be put up on the (WFI) website tomorrow. One lady is there (for the post of president)," he added.
The only lady candidate on the WFI executive committee members' list is Anita Sheoran representing Odisha. Sheoran was one of the witnesses in the alleged sexual harassment case against Brij Bhushan.
The Brij Bhushan camp has filed a total of 18 nominations for 15 WFI posts, while candidates from rival camps left without disclosing which posts they were filing their nominations for.
The Brij Bhushan camp nominees and supporters were the first to arrive at the Olympic Bhawan past noon, after the BJP leader held another round of meeting at a five-star hotel before the convoy left to file nominations.
With less than 45 minutes left for the nominations to close -- and after the Brij Bhushan camp had completed their formalities -- a group that included Anita Sheoran, Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) secretary Prem Chand Lochab (Gujarat representative), Dushyant Sharma (J&K unit) and a few others arrived and left after filing their nominations without speaking to the media.
Brij Bhushan's son-in-law Vishal holds fort

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Even though Brij Bhushan, who had been holding meetings with state units for the last two days to come up with a list of "consensus candidates", did not accompany the candidates to the Olympic Bhawan, his son-in-law Vishal Singh (Bihar Wrestling Federation president), was facilitating his group's candidates in filing nomination papers. He is not in the fray for any post though.
"18 nominations have been filed from our side. Our candidate for the post of president is Sanjay Kumar Singh. We have filed (nominations) for three vice presidents," said Vishal.
Asked why Brij Bhushan did not accompany the nominees after two days of hectic meetings, Vishal said, "I don't think there was any need for him to come. He is not on the voters' list.
"He doesn't need to come, but we all are supporting him. We all are here for him. The WFI has done tremendously well under his leadership. And we really hope that whosoever comes next carries on with the good work."

On whether 22 state units were supporting the Brij Bhushan group, Vishal said, "I believe that so. We are more than confident (of winning the elections). If you see the turnout, majority of the people have come along with us. But it's free will, we respect everybody's free will and if an election happens we are more than okay with it," said Vishal.
No members of my family to contest: Brij Bhushan

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In the morning, Brij Bhushan reiterated that no member of his family will contest the WFI polls. While his his son Karan had already pulled out, his son-in-law Vishal too had said on Sunday he would not be contesting for any post.
Before the convoy of nominees and supporters left for the Olympic Bhawan, Brij Bhushan said at his residence, "Today is the last day of nominations, members from 22 state associations were here and they came to meet (me) and are now going for filing their nominations. There is no one from my family."

"Let the elections happen first and then whoever wins will do their work."

Brij Bhushan, against whom the country's six top wrestlers including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat had levelled charges of sexual harassment and sat in protest at Jantar Mantar, is ineligible to contest as he has completed 12 years as head of the federation -- the maximum period allowed as per the National Sports Code.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 31 2023 | 10:22 PM IST

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