Janardan Singh Gehlot, the president of the International Kabaddi Federation and the former chief of the All India Kabaddi Federation died on Wednesday.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot paid tribute to the former kabaddi player turned politician on Twitter.
“I am pained by the death of former minister and the founder of the International Kabaddi Federation, Mr Janardan Singh Gehlot. He made a notable contribution to politics and sports” Ashok Gehlot wrote in his tweet.
Former Indian kabaddi captain Ajay Thakur also paid his tribute to the IKF president.
Kabaddi players Rahul Chaudhari, Sandeep Narwal and Sukesh Hegde all took to social media to express grief at the death of Gehlot.
“Would always thank you for the contribution and hard that you put in for the transformation of kabaddi in the world,” Chaudhari posted on Instagram.
Former captain Anup Kumar also paid his tribute to Gehlot, crediting him for introducing kabaddi to the world.
Gehlot, a former Rajasthan minister, was also the founder president of International Kabaddi Federation. He was in his 70s.
He was also serving as the president of the Rajasthan Olympic Association at the time of his death.
“On behalf of IOA family, our heartfelt condolences to Gehlot family on the sad and untimely demise of IOA vice president and president of Rajasthan Olympic association Janardhan Singh Gehlot,” IOA President Narinder Batra said in a statement.
“May his soul rest in peace and pray to God to give enough strength to his family to overcome this tragic loss.”
Gehlot was elected as one of the nine IOA vice presidents in the 2017 elections.
In 2018, the Delhi High Court had quashed the appointment of Gehlot and his wife as “Life President” and president of the Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India respectively, saying that they held the body to “ransom” by treating it as their “family enterprise”.
The High court had also struck down as “illegal” the amendments carried out in Memorandum of Association and Constitution of the AKFI and held that it did not have any authority to create a post of “Life President” when the National Sports Development Code of India did not contemplate the existence of any such post.
The AKFI is yet to have an elected president as disputes continue in court. The game of kabaddi in India is now been run by a court appointed administrator.
However, Gehlot had continued to hold on to his positions as the head of the IKF and the Asian Kabaddi Federation.