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Updated December 23rd, 2023 at 23:28 IST

Not a dummy candidate, protesting wrestlers are indulging in politics, says WFI chief

Sanjay Singh said, "I have been in the federation for 12 years. Just because I am close to the MP does not mean I am a dummy candidate."

Reported by: Abhishek Tiwari
WFI President Sanjay Singh
WFI President Sanjay Singh accused protesting wrestlers of indulging in politics. | Image:PTI/ File Photo
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Amid massive protest by the country's known wrestlers including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat and others against the election of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief, the newly elected president Sanjay Singh on Saturday came down heavily against them. Asserting that he is not a dummy candidate for outgoing president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the newly elected president accused protesting wrestlers for indulging in politics.

It was being alleged by the protesting grapplers that Sanjay Singh, who is a close associate of Parliamentarian Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, is a dummy candidate, who serves an indirect control by MP Brij Bhushan on the WFI.

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Sakshi Malik announced her retirement following Sanjay Singh's election to the top post

Talking to reporters, Singh said, "I have been in the federation for 12 years. Just because I am close to the MP does not mean I am a dummy candidate. Is it a crime if I am close to him?" 
Responding to Sakshi Malik’s decision to quit wrestling, he stated, "Those who are athletes have already started preparing and those who want to engage in politics can do that. It is their personal matter, I will not speak about this,” reports news agency PTI.

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Sanjay Singh was elected as the president of the WFI on Thursday by winning most of the votes in the delayed polls. The panel led by Singh won 13 of the 15 posts. He is said to be the close confidante of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who had been accused of sexual harassment by the protesting wrestlers for past few months.

Following the election of Sanjay Singh to the top post, Sakshi Malik on Thursday announced her retirement from wrestling. Not only this, Bajrang Punia, announced to return his Padma Shri award to the Prime Minister as a mark of protest. Later, he was captured on camera leaving the medal on a footpath near Kartavya Path in Delhi, after he was stopped to march towards the PM's residence by police.

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Top Wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat had earlier demanded that no close associate of Brij Bhushan should be allowed to enter the WFI. They had accused Brij Bhushan of sexually exploiting several women wrestlers.

Meanwhile, the newly elected body on Friday announced that the U-15 and U-20 nationals will be held from December 28 to 30 in Uttar Pradesh’s Gonda district. 
 

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Published December 23rd, 2023 at 23:28 IST

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