Former Indian wrestling great Kartar Singh is among five candidates in the fray for four vice-presidential posts in the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections, scheduled for August 12.
Kartar, the two-time Asian Games gold medallist (1978 Bangkok and 1986 Seoul) is a former WFI secretary-general with years of administrative experience and is in the fray along with Asit Kumar Saha (Bengal), Jai Prakash (Delhi), Mohan Yadav (Madhya Pradesh) and N. Phoni (Manipur).
The contest for the post of president will be between outgoing WFI president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh-loyalist Sanjay Kumar Singh (Uttar Pradesh) and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Anita Sheoran.
The 38-year-old Sheoran, it is learnt, has the backing of the six wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, who led the protests against Brij Bhushan at Jantar Mantar here.
Sheoran, interestingly, is also a witness against Brij Bhushan in the sexual harassment case.
As per the official list issued by the returning officer for the elections, Justice (retd) M.M. Kumar on Monday, there are four contestants in the fray for two joint secretary posts, while seven candidates will vie for five executive committee posts.
The Brij Bhushan camp has filed nominations for all 15 positions and his team is reportedly the favourite to win several key posts. The contest for the post of senior vice-president will be between Brij Bhushan camp's I.D. Nanavati and Assam's Devender Kadian.
The Assam wrestling body was included in the electoral college after the Indian Olympic Association-constituted ad-hoc body for wrestling gave its approval following the Gauhati High Court order recently.
Elections will be held for the posts of president (1), senior vice-president (1), vice-president (4), secretary-general (1), treasurer (1), joint secretary (2) and executive members (5).
One of the candidates for the joint secretary's post, Rohtash Singh (Haryana), reportedly switched allegiance to the rival group after being in the Brij Bhushan camp. "We are not going to vote for him in the August 12 elections," said a Brij Bhushan loyalist on condition of anonymity.
Final list of candidates:
President: Anita Sheoran, Sanjay Kumar Singh.
Senior vice-president: Devender Kadian, ID Nanavati.
Vice-president: Asit Kumar Saha, Jai Prakash, Kartar Singh, Mohan Yadav, N. Phoni.
Secretary-general: Darshan Lal, Prem Chand Lochab.
Treasurer: Dushyant Sharma, Satya Pal Singh Deshwal.
Joint secretary: Bellippady Gunaranjan Shetty, Kuldip Singh, RK Purushotham, Rohtash Singh.
Executive members: Ajay Vaid, M. Loganathan, Neivikuolie Khatsii, Prashant Rai, Rajnish Kumar, Ratul Sarma, Ummed Singh.