The much-delayed Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections will be held on December 21 and the results will be announced the same day, said returning officer for the polls on Saturday. A statement issued by the office of the returning officer, Justice (retd) MM Kumar said polling, counting of votes and declaration of results will be done on the same day and the result of the elections shall be subject to the outcome of the writ petition pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The elections, to be held during the Special General Body Meeting, will be staged as per the electoral list made on August 7, quelling apprehensions that the entire process might start all over again.
“All steps up to the stage of preparation and display of the final list of contesting candidates were completed (on Aug 7) and various activities like polling, counting of votes and declaration of result alone were left,” said a statement issued by the returning officer for the polls.
“The elections of the WFI were stayed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on 11.08.2023 just a day before the poll and therefore, polling could not be held on 12.08.2023… the Supreme Court has vacated the stay orders and therefore the remaining steps like polling etc. will now recommence on 21.12.2023 as per the following revised schedule,” said the statement.
“Result of the above elections shall, however, be subject to the outcome of the Writ Petition pending before the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” added the statement.
After several postponements, the WFI elections have been made possible after the Supreme Court recently set aside the stay imposed by the Punjab and Haryana HC.
An IOA-constituted ad-hoc panel, led by Wushu Association of India chief Bhupender Singh Bajwa, is currently managing the day-to-day activities of the WFI after the sports ministry suspended the federation headed by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by top Indian grapplers.
Several wrestlers, including Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, sat in protest at the Jantar Mantar here for more than two months to protest against the alleged sexual harassment of female grapplers by Brij Bhushan.
The election process, which was set in motion in July, has been delayed because of court cases. This has further led to the suspension of the WFI by the international federation, United World Wrestling, for failing to conduct fresh polls in the time stipulated by them.
Indian wrestlers continue to participate in international competitions under the UWW flag because of the suspension of the national body.
The ad-hoc panel head Bajwa said the polling will be held at the Olympic Bhawan here and the “agenda/items will be the same as per notice issued earlier on 21st July 2023.”
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