WFI elections likely to be held on August 7: Sources

NEW DELHI, July 19: The much-awaited Wrestling Federation of India (WFI)elections are likely to be held on August 7 following a series of postponements, sources in the IOA ad-hoc panel said on Wednesday.
The WFI elections were earlier scheduled to be conducted on July 11 but the Gauhati High Court had stayed the polls, following Assam Wrestling Association’s (AWA) plea seeking right to participate in the poll process. The roadblock was cleared after the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Gauhati High Court order.
The Assam association had claimed that it was entitled to be an affiliated member of the WFI with voting rights but it was denied recognition by the national federation despite its Executive Committee recommending the same on November 15, 2014.
“The discussions happened today. The issue of five disputed state bodies is still being discussed. Unless that issue resolved, a final list of electoral college can’t be prepared. But in all likelihood, the elections will be held on August 7,” said a source privy to the developments.
The disaffiliated units from Maharashtra, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan had approached the ad-hoc panel, claiming that they are eligible to nominate members for electoral college and have the right to participate in WFI elections. The Gauhati High Court had stayed the polls on June 25, the last date to submit names for the electoral college.
The WFI, before being suspended by the sports ministry, had set May 7 as the election date.
The sports ministry had ordered the WFI to suspend all its ongoing activities with immediate effect after the ministry decided to appoint an oversight committee to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment of women wrestlers by national body president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
Sports minister Anurag Thakur, after his meeting with protesting wrestlers, had said that the WFI elections will be held by June 30. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) then announced that elections will be held on July 4 but the returning officer had set July 6 as the new date.
However, after five disaffiliated state bodies staked claim for voting eligibility, the returning officer was forced to set July 11 as the fresh poll date before it got further delayed. (PTI)