WFI elections: Brij Bhushan and son Karan Singh excluded; son-in-law Vishal Singh to represent Bihar

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and his son Karan are not part of the electoral college for the upcoming Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections. However, Singh's son-in-law Vishal Singh will be a representative from Bihar in the polls.

Sports minister Anurag Thakur had earlier promised the protesting wrestlers led by Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia that none from Brij Bhushan's family would contest the elections. Only those who are part of the electoral college can contest for posts; the college also elects the office-bearers.

Singh, a BJP Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh's Kaisergunj, is facing multiple charges of sexual harassment and is currently on bail.

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.

The deadline to nominate candidates for the various posts is August 1 and the final list, after scrutiny of nominations, will be released on August 7. The election will be on August 12. There will be a total of 50 votes, two from each state unit.

The list includes members who are not associated with the existing state bodies. According to the WFI Constitution, "The affiliate unit shall nominate only the executive members of their Unit to represent in the elections".

Anita Sheoran, 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.

Odisha Wrestling Association secretary Kishor Behera was quoted in The Indian Express as saying that their by-laws permitted them to nominate people from outside the state.

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 decision to grant membership to the state.

(With inputs from PTI)