Sanjay Kumar Singh has been appointed President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) on Thursday. He has been a member of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) for the past 12 years and a friend of Bhartiya Janata Party MP from Kaiserganj Brij Bhushan Singh Sharan for the past 30 years, and he has received a seemingly never-ending stream of compliments.
The Uttar Pradesh Wrestling Association vice-president is sitting in the lobby of a hotel late at night, surrounded by a swarm of admirers, as his 40-7 victory in the WFI election over Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anita Sheoran settles in.
Who is Sanjay Kumar Singh, a loyalist of Brij Bhushan?
After former chairman Brij Bhushan was charged with sexually harassing female wrestlers and could face legal action, according to a Delhi Police charge sheet, Sanjay Kumar Singh was elected president.
Throughout the day, insiders and supporters mumbled about how the outcome was a foregone certainty. It is a sentiment shared by the new president, who claims that his panel’s success is guaranteed.
“We had control of the election from the start. Voting occurred, and whatever was expected occurred. “The truth won out,” Sanjay Kumar Singh remarked on Thursday. “We had faith because of how much work we’d done for wrestlers.” Unka bhala hone wala hai pehelwaan jaante hain. (The wrestlers understand that only we can provide their demands.) They are aware that everything has been closed for the past 11 months. Wrestlers were unable to compete (under the Indian flag); everything was closed, and all wrestlers were despondent. Those circumstances were sufficient to convince us that victory was ours.”
As a devoted follower of Brij Bhushan, Sanjay Kumar Singh’s first official act as president of the WFI was to declare that the U-15 and U-20 nationals would be held in Nandini Nagar, Gonda, the previous chief’s hometown. Singh countered, “We are doing them before the end of the year so the youth wrestlers don’t waste the entire year.”
Resistance from the wrestlers
However, Sanjay Kumar Singh might face yet encounter resistance from the wrestlers, who insisted that intimate associates and aides of Brij Bhushan be excluded from the new WFI. But now that he’s in charge, supported by the former president, he reaffirmed that all wrestlers were welcome to return.
He responded, “We have no ill will towards any wrestler,” when asked if the three primary protesting wrestlers—Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, and Bajrang Punia—will now be treated differently. We welcome everyone who comes and wrestles well. Not only is this our triumph, but the wrestlers’ victory as well.
Sanjay Kumar Singh responded that he had not spoken to any of the three wrestlers when asked whether he had had the opportunity to do so.
However, bronze medalist Sakshi from the 2016 Rio Olympics announced her retirement following his electoral victory. Singh stated that he would rather put all of his focus into supporting wrestlers during an Olympic year than talk about the issue.
Olympic medalist Sakshi Malik, who served as a spokesperson for the anti-Bhushan Sharan Singh movement, announced her decision to retire from wrestling. “We mustered a great deal of bravery to take on the WFI President, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.”
However, Sanjay Kumar Singh, his right hand, has been chosen to serve as the new WFI President. We had asked that a woman be appointed president, but our request has not been met,” she remarked.
“It is regrettable that these individuals are being elected to such positions in our nation. Girls will now face harassment once more. It’s unfortunate that, despite our best efforts, we were unable to affect any change. Sangeeta Phogat remarked, “I don’t know how to get justice in our own country.”