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IOA Ad-Hoc Panel Calls Five Disaffiliated State Wrestling Units For Hearing On June 21

The deadline for state bodies to send names for forming the electoral college was June 19 but the hearing has pushed it to June 21.

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Most state bodies have already sent the names of the members for the constitution of electoral college.
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IOA's ad-hoc committee, tasked with conducting the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections, on Monday called five disputed state bodies for a hearing on June 21 and also extended the last date to receive nominations for constitution of electoral college by two days. (More Wrestling News)

The deadline for state bodies to send names for forming the electoral college was June 19 but the hearing has pushed it to June 21.

The disaffiliated units from Maharashtra, Telangana, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan had approached the ad-hoc panel recently, claiming that they are eligible to nominate members for electoral college and have the right to participate in WFI elections on July 6.

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"The returning officer has invited the aforesaid Representationists for hearing on 21/6/2023 between 3pm to 4pm. It would be futile if the last date for nomination of members to Electoral College is extended to 21/6/2023 till 12:00 midnight," read a note from Assistant Returning Officer Tapas Kumar Bhattacharya.

It has been learnt the outgoing WFI secretary general VM Prasood will also be present in the hearing to clarify on the status of these disaffiliated units.

The disaffiliated units from Assam, Tripura, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh had also reached out to the ad-hoc panel with their pleas but the committee did not find merit in their representations. 

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The WFI had dissolved the state units of Haryana and Maharashtra at its AGM in June 2022 and installed new bodies by conducting fresh elections. 

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar-led Maharashtra unit had then approached the Bombay High Court, which had held "illegal" the WFI decision to dissolve the state body and also set aside the July 31 elections.

According to WFI officials, the Haryana body, led by Congress leader Deepender Hooda, was dissolved because the office bearers had overstayed their terms and the state body was completely inactive while in power, not conducting any competitions.

In 2019, elections to the Himachal Pradesh body were conducted on court's direction and it was due for fresh elections in January this year. However, in the wake of wrestlers' protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the election could not be conducted.

"It had asked for an observer from WFI but the national federation asked it to wait. The oversight committee was yet to submit its report so they were told to wait. Now people are trying to take advantage of the situation and coming with their representations," said a WFI source.

It has been learnt that most of the state bodies have already sent the names of the members for the constitution of electoral college.

"It's largely the Presidents and Secretaries of the state bodies," said a source.

The Delhi Amateur Wrestling Association will be represented by its President Olympian Jai Prakash and general secretary Ramesh Pehalwan. 

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It will not be a surprise if Jai Prakash, who competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Games, emerges as a front-runner to lead the new WFI set-up.

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