Sanjay Singh should withdraw from WFI polls: Bajrang, Sakshi tell Sports Minister

Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik
From left: Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik during a media interaction. File photo: IANS

New Delhi: Olympic medal-winning grapplers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik on Monday met Sports Minister Anurag Thakur to once again request him to stop anyone related to former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh from contesting the upcoming polls of the national body.

The much-awaited WFI elections are scheduled to be held on December 21 (Thursday) during its General Body Meeting and the results will be declared on the same day itself.

Bajrang and Sakshi are among the wrestlers, who spearheaded the protest against Brij Bhushan for two months, on allegations of multiple charges of sexual harassment against the BJP MP from Kaiserganj, Uttar Pradesh.

As per Tokyo Games bronze medallist Bajrang, they withdrew their protest after the government assured that no one related to Brij Bhushan will contest the polls.

Two candidates -- Brij Bhushan-loyalist Sanjay Singh and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anita Sheoran -- are in the running for the WFI president's post.

"Yes, we met with the Sports Minister today and reminded him of his promise that no one related to Brij Bhushan should contest the WFI elections," Bajrang saidI.

"Sanjay Singh is his close associate and he should withdraw from the election race or otherwise we will decide our future course of action soon. We told that to that minister," said Bajrang.

Bajrang also stated that they have no issues with Sheoran as she is a former wrestler and is very well aware about the plight of the athletes.

"We want some former wrestler to take the charge of WFI, who at least knows what it takes to win medals for the country. Anita ji (Sheoren) is a Commonwealth Games medallist and understands the demands of wrestlers," he said.

Anita, who is in the running to become the first woman president of the WFI, is also reportedly a witness in the sexual harassment cases levied against Brij Bhushan.

Brij Bhushan is facing multiple charges of sexual harassment and is currently out on bail. He is not eligible to contest in the WFI elections as has completed 12 years as an office-bearer, which is the maximum term allowed as per the National Sports Code.

He also assured that no one from his family would contest the polls.

Accordingly, Brij Bhushan, who is the president of the Uttar Pradesh wrestling body, and his son Karan, who is a vice-president in the same state body, will not compete in the elections.

Brij Bhushan's son-in-law Vishal Singh, president of the Bihar Wrestling Federation, is also not contesting the elections.

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