AMID CELEBRATIONS and slogans on Thursday at his MP bungalow in New Delhi, which doubles as the office of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh “asked” the newly elected president of the organization, Sanjay Singh, to lead a national campaign. Championships in the U15 and U20 categories before the end of the year.
Within minutes, Singh issued an order announcing the date and venue of the age-group competitions – December 28-30 in Gonda, Uttar Pradesh, Brij Bhushan’s backyard.
The Indian Express learned that the decision led Prem Chand Lochab, who was elected as WFI general secretary last Thursday, to send a letter to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) informing it that Singh had taken the decision without involve him in an executive committee meeting. , which was held without notice or quorum.
“The secretary general was kept in the dark when he should have been the main point of contact. There is a process in place that was breached. This happened within hours of the election, so the general secretary flagged it to ensure it doesn’t happen again,” a source said.
Lochab, a member of the government apparatus and secretary of the Railway Sports Promotion Council, highlighted the procedural lapses and violation of the WFI constitution in his letter.
Those in the know said it was this decision to host the tournament – described as “arbitrary” and “contrary to the principles of good governance” by the Sports Ministry on Sunday – that led the government to suspend the committee. This shows, a ministry official said, that “the newly elected body seemed to have total control over the old office bearers” – referring to Brij Bhushan, the former WFI president.
Where Brij Bhushan loyalist and newly elected WFI president Sanjay Singh took the decision and issued the notice also did not escape the government’s notice. “The affairs of the Federation are managed from the premises controlled by former officials, which are also the alleged premises in which the sexual harassment of the players was alleged and currently the matter is before the court,” said the responsible for the ministry.
By suspending the commission, the ministry highlighted these shortcomings. “This announcement is hasty, without sufficient notice to the wrestlers who must participate in the said nationals and without respecting the provisions of the WFI statutes,” declared the ministry official.
“The decisions taken by the newly elected executive body of the WFI demonstrate a blatant disregard for established legal and procedural standards, violating both the constitutional provisions of the WFI and the National Sports Development Code,” the official added.
© The Indian Express Pvt Ltd
First published on: 25-12-2023 at 04:07 IST
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