The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday dropped former Wrestling Federation of India chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh from the Kaiserganj Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh, and nominated his son Karan Bhushan Singh instead.

Brij Bhushan is facing accusations of sexual abuse from six women wrestlers. The Delhi Police registered a first information report against him in April 2023, following the intervention of the Supreme Court.

On June 15, the police filed a 1,000-page chargesheet against him.

Brij Bhushan has represented Kaiserganj for 15 years, having been elected as a Samajwadi Party candidate in 2009 and as a BJP candidate in 2014 and 2019.

Karan Bhushan Singh has been the president of the Uttar Pradesh Wrestling Association since February. After he was elected to the post, Olympic medallist wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik had threatened to protest, saying authorities had promised that Brij Bhushan or his relatives would not govern the sport, according to India Today.

Elections in Kaiserganj will be held in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 20.

The Delhi Police had filed the chargesheet on June 15 against Brij Bhushan months after India’s top wrestlers, including Malik and Punia as well as two-time World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat, had launched protests seeking his arrest.

The police, in the first information, alleged that Brij Bhushan demanded sexual favours in exchange for professional help from at least two female wrestlers as well as harassed over half a dozen players.

The incumbent Kaiserganj MP has been booked under Indian Penal Code sections 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty), 354-A (sexual harassment), 354-D (stalking) and 506 (criminal intimidation).

BJP fields Dinesh Pratap Singh from Rae Bareli

The BJP has also named Dinesh Pratap Singh as its candidate from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency in the state. Singh had been fielded from the seat in 2019 as well. However, he lost to Congress leader Sonia Gandhi.

Rae Bareli has been represented by Gandhi since 2004. In February, she moved to the Rajya Sabha and announced that she would not contest the Lok Sabha elections because of her age and health concerns.

The Congress is yet to announce a candidate from the seat.