24 Dec 2023

Sports Ministry suspends newly elected Wrestling Federation of India body; Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia said this

On Sunday, the Sports Ministry suspended the recently elected Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) body, formed just three days prior on December 21st. The new President, Sanjay Singh, known to be close to BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, emerged victorious in the elections.

Noting that the ‘newly elected body appears to be in complete control of former office bearers’, the Sports Ministry, on Sunday, suspended the newly-elected body of WFI.

In a strongly-worded statement, the ministry accused the new WFI committee, headed by Sanjay Singh, a close aide of former chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, of showing ‘blatant disregard for the established legal and procedural norms’.

Last Thursday, the panel backed by Brij Bhushan, a BJP MP, and led by Sanjay Singh, assumed control of the WFI after its much-delayed elections took place in controversial circumstances.

Krishna Malik expressed her joy 

Krishna Malik, the mother of Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik, expressed her joy regarding the Sports Ministry's decision. She stated that her daughter might reconsider her retirement from wrestling. 

Additionally, wrestler Bajrang Punia, who had symbolically placed his Padma Shri on the pavement outside the Prime Minister's residence, announced his intention to retract the gesture.

Sakshi Malik had announced her retirement from wrestling in protest against the victory of Brij Bhushan's close associate. Bajrang Punia also announced to return his Padma Shri as well. 

Sanjay Singh had declared Junior National Championship tournament in Gonda

The Wrestling Federation of India's new president, Sanjay Singh, had declared the Junior National Championship tournament in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, starting from December 28th. Gonda happens to be the parliamentary constituency of BJP MP Brij Bhushan, who has faced allegations of sexual exploitation by wrestlers. This is considered a significant factor behind the Sports Ministry's intervention against the newly formed WFI team.

Sanjay Singh, who defeated Commonwealth champion Anita Singh Sheoran in the elections, previously served as the joint secretary in the WFI when Brij Bhushan was the president. After Sanjay's victory, Brij Bhushan's son expressed confidence in their continued dominance, citing their historical influence in the federation.

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