Wrestling Federation of India elections scheduled for December 21text_fields
New Delhi: The much-awaited Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections are set to take place on December 21, with the results anticipated to be declared the same day, as confirmed by the returning officer overseeing the polls.
Justice (retd) MM Kumar, the returning officer, announced that the elections would proceed on December 21 during the Special General Body Meeting. However, it was specified that the election outcome would be contingent on the pending writ petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
A statement released by the returning officer assured that the electoral process, based on the electoral list finalised on August 7, would resume from the stage where the final list of contesting candidates was displayed.
The WFI elections, earlier delayed due to legal injunctions, saw a stay from the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 11, 2023, just a day before the scheduled polling. The recent lifting of the stay by the Supreme Court has now paved the way for the election process to restart.
However, the statement stressed that the results would be subject to the final verdict of the pending Writ Petition before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The wrestling body's elections have faced multiple postponements and legal obstacles, resulting in the suspension of the WFI by the international governing body, United World Wrestling (UWW), for failing to conduct timely polls.
The management of WFI's daily operations currently lies with an ad-hoc panel, led by Bhupender Singh Bajwa, appointed by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA). This temporary panel was instated after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the former head of WFI.
The elections, now rescheduled for December, aim to resolve the administrative turmoil and pave the way for the reinstatement of the WFI. Athletes, including prominent wrestlers like Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, have protested against the alleged harassment, leading to a prolonged demonstration at Jantar Mantar.
The upcoming elections, if conducted successfully, will aim to address the tumultuous phase that the WFI has encountered, allowing Indian wrestlers to participate under their national flag in international competitions. The polling is set to take place at the Olympic Bhawan in New Delhi as per the agenda outlined on July 21, 2023.