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Gauhati High Court stays Wrestling Federation of India elections

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Guwahati, June 25 (PTI): The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections, delayed several times, were stalled yet again with the Gauhati High Court on Sunday staying the July 11 polls on a petition filed by the Assam Wrestling Association.

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The Assam Wrestling Association, in its petition filed against the WFI, IOA ad-hoc panel and the Sports Ministry, said that though it was entitled to be an affiliated member of the WFI, it was not granted one.

The state unit claimed that the then WFI Executive Committee had made recommendation for its affiliation at the Federations’ General Council in Gonda, on November 15, 2014 but it was denied recognition.

The IOA ad-hoc panel had fixed June 25 as the last date for receiving the names for the electoral college while the elections were fixed for July 11.

The petitioner contended that unless their body is affiliated to the WFI, and they can nominate their representative to the electoral college, the election process should be stalled.

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The court directed the respondents — WFI ad-hoc body and the Sports Ministry — that till the next date is fixed for hearing they should not proceed with the elections of the Executive Committee of the WFI.

The court has fixed July 17 as the next date for hearing.

Assam Wrestling Association (AWA) said in its petition that they were “actively involved” in promoting wrestling in the state and had organised various national and state-level tournaments at the “behest” of the WFI.

The state association said in its plea that despite “several efforts” it did not get recognition.

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AWA said that unless they don’t get affiliation from the parent body, they would not be able to nominate their representative to the electoral college for the upcoming elections.

The state of Assam will be deprived of its representative to take part in the election of the executive committee of the WFI and its wrestlers will be deprived of participation in national tournaments, the petition said.

The WFI before being suspended by the Sports Ministry had set May 7 as the election date. Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, after his meeting with protesting wrestlers, had said that WFI elections will be held by June 30.

The IOA then announced that elections will be held on July but the Returning Officer set July 6 as the new date.

However, after five disaffiliated state bodies staked claim to be eligible for voting, the Returning Officer yet again delayed the elections by five days, setting July 11 as the poll date.

 

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The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
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