Opposition Claims WFI Suspension Decision Made Under Pressure

n the aftermath of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections, opposition leaders assert that the government's decision to suspend the newly-elected body was made under pressure, intensifying the debate over transparency and justice for protesting wrestlers.


The much-delayed elections of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will be conducted on August 12

In the aftermath of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections, opposition leaders voiced criticism on Sunday, asserting that the government's suspension of the newly-elected body was insufficient to address the concerns of protesting wrestlers. The elections, held on December 21, saw Sanjay Singh and his panel secure victory by significant margins.

The sports ministry's decision to suspend the WFI until further notice came after the wrestling body hastily announced the organization of U-15 and U-20 nationals, allegedly without proper procedures and adequate notice to the athletes for preparations.

Prominent leaders, including NCP's Clyde Crasto and Congress leader Udit Raj, dismissed the suspension as a "farce," emphasizing that it did not alleviate the grievances of women wrestlers. The surrender of medals by top athletes, including Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, played a role in intensifying the scrutiny on the recent WFI elections.


Ranjeet Ranjan of Congress raised questions about the election of Sanjay Singh, known to be the "right-hand man" of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, against whom allegations of sexual harassment have been made.

Samajwadi Party leader Fakhrul Hasan Chaand accused the BJP of attempting to divert attention from the outrage caused by the election of Brij Bhushan's loyalists. However, BRS leader K Kavitha welcomed the government's decision to suspend the WFI's newly elected body, calling for a fair and transparent system for Indian wrestling.

The sports ministry stated on Sunday that the new body was operating under the "complete control of former WFI office-bearers," a violation of the National Sports Code. In response, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh announced his "retirement" from the sport after a meeting with BJP chief JP Nadda, citing various responsibilities, including next year's Lok Sabha elections.


The controversy further entangles itself with serious allegations of sexual harassment against Brij Bhushan Singh, currently being heard in the Delhi High Court. The former WFI chief denies these allegations, attributing them to a conspiracy by Congress leaders.

Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik's retirement in protest against Sanjay Singh's election adds a poignant dimension to the unfolding drama.