The Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) is set to hold its much-delayed elections on August 12, 2023, after facing several hurdles and controversies. However, the state of Maharashtra will not be part of the poll process, as both its rival factions have been declared ineligible by the Returning Officer.

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The WFI elections were originally scheduled for July 6, 2023, but were postponed to July 11 after some disaffiliated state bodies from Maharashtra, Haryana, Telangana, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh raised objections and sought a hearing. The state bodies claimed that they were not given a fair chance to participate in the elections and that the electoral college was not transparent.

However, the elections could not take place on July 11 either, as the Gauhati High Court issued a stay order following a plea by the Assam Wrestling Association, which also wanted to be part of the election process. The WFI then approached the Supreme Court, which cleared the way for the elections to be held on August 12, with an electoral college comprising 48 members representing 24 state bodies.

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Brij Bhushan has been the WFI president since 2011 and is also ineligible to contest the elections as per the Sports Code guidelines, which stipulate a maximum tenure of 12 years for any office-bearer. Bhushan is under scrutiny because of the sexual assault allegations from many top wrestlers in the country. It is speculated that his son, Karan Singh, who is heading the Uttar Pradesh Wrestling Association, may contest the elections in his place.

The WFI elections are closely watched by the wrestling community, as they could potentially bring about changes and reforms in the federation. The outcome of the elections could also have an impact on the preparations and performance of Indian wrestlers for the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in September 2023 and the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England in July 2024.