Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, is a Member of Parliament (MP) from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh and has held the position of WFI president since 2011. A resident of Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh, Singh was a wrestler in his youth and became involved in student politics in the 1980s. He gained recognition for his strong ‘Hindutva image’ during the Ram Mandir movement in Ayodhya.
Singh, who belongs to the Thakur community in Gonda district, has been a Member of Parliament for six terms. He has represented the constituencies of Gonda, Kaiserganj, and Balrampur. He won five of these elections on a BJP ticket, with the exception being the 2009 election, when he was with the Samajwadi Party.
Singh first contested elections in 1991 and won the Gonda constituency in Uttar Pradesh. He again won the seat in 1999. He was reelected as an MP in 2004 from the Balrampur seat. In 2008 he joined the Samajwadi Party and won the Kaiserganj seat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He rejoined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) right before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and was elected to the Lok Sabha on a BJP ticket in both 2014 and 2019.
His wife Ketki Devi Singh has held the position of president of the Gonda Zila Panchayat and his son Prateek Bhushan Singh is currently the Member of Legislative Assembly from the Gonda Sadar seat.
In the 1990s, Singh was known for his image as a ‘baahubali‘ (a political strongman) and there was a case against him under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (TADA) for allegedly harbouring associates of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim. He was later acquitted of these charges. According to his election affidavit for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Singh has four pending cases against him in Ayodhya and Gonda, including charges of dacoity, attempt to murder, and rioting.
Singh was also one of the accused in the Babri demolition case, but was later acquitted by the court. His name was on the list of 40 leaders against whom charges were framed, including senior BJP leader LK Advani, who was acquitted in 2020.
Despite his controversial past, Singh has maintained his hold over the WFI for nearly a decade and is known for his outspoken rhetoric. He has previously threatened to teach a lesson to Raj Thackeray if he entered Ayodhya during a time when Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena party was getting closer to the BJP.
In response to recent sexual harassment allegations leveled against him, Singh stated that they are false and that he would commit suicide if they were found to be true. He also claimed that he had tried to reach out to wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, but was unable to do so.