Wrestlers object to Sanjay’s candidature for top WFI post

Given the situation, the faction led by Brij Bhushan enjoys the support of at least 20 out of 25 state units eligible to vote.
(From L to R) Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat at a protest (Photo | EPS)
(From L to R) Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat at a protest (Photo | EPS)

CHENNAI: In their desperate bid to garner support for their presidential candidate, Anita Sheoran, protesting wrestlers including Bajrang Punia on Thursday apparently met sports minister Anurag Thakur raising objection over the candidature of Sanjay Kumar Singh for the top post. Sanjay is considered to be a close aide of the sidelined president of the Wrestling Federation of India Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Anita, on the other hand, is former Commonwealth Games gold medallist and a witness in the case of sexual harassment against Brij Bhushan.

The wrestlers including Bajrang, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik had announced on Wednesday night that they will address a press conference at Raj Ghat in New Delhi on Thursday afternoon but was forced to shelve their plan as prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC were been clamped in the area in the wake of the Independence Day. Given the situation, the faction led by Brij Bhushan enjoys the support of at least 20 out of 25 state units eligible to vote.

Two representatives from each association will be eligible to cast a vote each during the polling scheduled on August 12. “The wrestlers met sports minister Anurag Thakur. The minister has apparently assured them of a meeting with home minister Amit Shah. These wrestlers don’t want the panel led by Brij Bhushan to win the election, especially the presidential candidate. They were promised in the past that no one from Brij Bhushan’s family will contest,” a source told this daily. Sources also informed that the wrestlers spoke to two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar seeking his support.

It was also learnt that the faction being supported by wrestlers also held a meeting with the sports minister at his residence late at night and one of the candidates informed that they are being asked to be there. 
Meanwhile, representatives from a few state units backing Brij Bhushan reached the national capital on Thursday while the remaining are expected to arrive by Friday. 

“We will be staying at the same hotel where we stayed before filing nominations. At least 20 units are with Brij Bhushan and that means a clean sweep in the election,” said another source.

It is also learnt that ID Nanavati, who is contesting for the post of senior vice president is expected to return to the country on Friday. He has been out of the country for quite some time. The president of the Gujarat Association is supporting the Uttar Pradesh strongman. Devender Kadyan is the candidate for the post from another faction.

Hearing on Haryana dispute

A hearing is scheduled at the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a plea filed by the rival faction challenging voting rights given to Rakesh Singh (secretary) and Rohtash Singh (president) from the Haryana unit. While Rakesh is supporting Brij Bhushan, Rohtash has allegedly switched allegiance. The court has earlier stayed the voting rights given to the duo.

“The order is expected tomorrow (Friday). I am in Chandigarh for the hearing and will leave for Delhi once the order is pronounced,” said Rakesh. It is being said if voting rights are taken away then it can also affect the nominations of a few candidates from the Brij Bhushan camp.

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