Sanjay Singh Assumes Presidency of Wrestling Federation of India in Landslide Victory

In a delayed electoral process, Sanjay Singh, a staunch supporter of outgoing chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, emerged victorious as the new President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Sanjay’s panel secured a majority of posts, with Anita Sheoran, his main rival, receiving only seven votes against his impressive 40.

Sanjay, affiliated with the RSS and a close associate of Brij Bhushan, hails from Varanasi. His victory suggests a continuation of Brij Bhushan’s influence on the sports body, with expectations that Sanjay will seek his guidance in policy decisions.

Addressing reporters after his significant win, Sanjay Singh expressed, “It’s a triumph for thousands of wrestlers in the country who suffered in the past 7-8 months.”

While Sheoran’s panel managed to secure the crucial post of secretary general, with Prem Chand Lochab winning against Darshan Lal, other key positions went in favor of Brij Bhushan’s camp. Devender Singh Kadian claimed the senior vice president’s post, and all four vice president positions were won by candidates affiliated with Brij Bhushan.

The newly elected treasurer, Satyapal Singh Deshwal, from Uttarakhand, is also aligned with Brij Bhushan’s camp. This outcome indicates a consolidation of power within the wrestling federation under the influence of the outgoing chief.

The election results have implications for top wrestlers like Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, and Sakshi Malik, who had previously protested against Brij Bhushan. Despite their efforts to bring about a change in leadership, the election of Sanjay Singh, a close associate of the BJP MP, suggests their protest may not have had the desired impact.

Furthermore, the election of the new executive council is expected to pave the way for the lifting of the UWW ban on WFI. The delayed elections had led to a ban by the world governing body, forcing Indian wrestlers to compete as neutral athletes at the 2023 World Championships. The recent Supreme Court decision to set aside the stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court clears the path for the normalization of WFI’s status in the international wrestling community.

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