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WFI elections on Aug 12, Maha declared ineligible for participation

New Delhi: The much-delayed elections of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) will be conducted on August 12, it was announced on Friday, but the state of Maharashtra will not be part of the poll process as Returning Officer Justice MM Kumar declared that both rival factions were ineligible for participation.

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The ad-hoc panel had scheduled the elections for July 6 but it was forced to reschedule the polls to July 11 after disaffiliated state bodies from Maharashtra, Haryana, Telangana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh approached it for a hearing, claiming that their dismissal was not appropriate.

Panel heard the aggrieved representatives of the state bodies but the polls could not go ahead even on July 11 with Gauhati High Court staying the elections after Assam Wrestling Association (AWA) sought right to participate in the poll process.

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The Supreme Court then paved the way for elections on Tuesday after staying the Gauhati High Court order.

The electoral college will now have 48 members with voting rights from 24 state bodies and the nominations for posts will be filed on August 1.

The scrutiny of the nominations will be conducted on August and a final list of the candidates will be published on August 7. If election is required, voting will be conducted on August 12.

The sports ministry had ordered the WFI to suspend all its activities with immediate effect after appointing an oversight committee to investigate the allegations of sexual harassment of women wrestlers by national body president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who has received a bail in the case.

Brij Bhushan, who has completed 12 years as president, is ineligible to contest elections as per Sports Code guidelines.

It will be interesting to see if his son Karan, who heads the UP Wrestling Association, contests the elections.

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