'Dabdaba to Rahega', Declares Brij Bhushan After Close Aide Becomes WFI Chief

After the election of his close aide as WFI President, Brij Bhushan minced no words in declaring his dominance.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Even as after 11 long months a new WFI president was elected to the post on 21 December, the very wrestling community that fought for the change was the one left most disappointed as Sanjay Singh, a close aide of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, was elected the new chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, ex-WFI President accused of sexual harassment by prominent Indian wrestlers, stood firm in his assertion that “dabdaba to rahega” (our dominance will remain).

Sanjay Singh's triumph with 40 out of 47 votes, defeating Commonwealth Games Gold medallist Anita Sheoran, sparked controversy. Wrestlers, including Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, and Vinesh Phogat, who had fervently protested against Brij Bhushan, rallied behind Sheoran. Despite their efforts, Singh's win signaled a continuation of the existing leadership.


Brij Bhushan, unfazed by the allegations against him, proclaimed the victory as a triumph for the country's wrestlers. He expressed hope that the wrestling activities, halted for 11 months during the protests, would now resume under the new leadership.

"Whoever wants a message, here it is - dabdaba tha, dabdaba rahega!," he said.

"I want to give the credit of victory to the wrestlers of the country and the electors. I want to thank the government as well. The elections were done on the instructions of the Supreme Court... the Centre went ahead to make sure elections happened and a non-partisan person was chosen as president," Brij Bhushan added.

"This grahan (eclipse) of 11 months on wrestling is over. Within 10 days, the landscape of wrestling will change again and we will perform in the Olympics the way people want us to," he added


In a surprising turn of events, Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, visibly disheartened by the election outcome, symbolically put her wrestling boots on a table during a press briefing and declared her departure from the sport. Her dramatic exit underscored the disappointment among wrestlers who had envisioned a woman leading the federation.

Sakshi Malik lamented the absence of female representation at the federation's helm, stating, "We fought, but if the new president is Brij Bhushan's aide, his business partner, then I quit wrestling."

The wrestling community now grapples not only with the implications of the election but also with the departure of a celebrated athlete, signaling a challenging chapter for the future of Indian wrestling.

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