Chennai, Dec 18 (IANS) In a new twist to the factional fight in the All India Chess Federation (AICF), the Central government has postponed the December 22 meeting of the general body to December 28.
In a letter to AICF President, P.R.Venketrama Raja, dated December 16, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports said: “I am directed to inform you that the General Body meeting of All India Chess Federation (AICF) which was earlier scheduled for 22.12.2019 has now been postponed to 28.12.2019 at Bhopal. Government observer will also be deputed to attend the meeting.”
The government’s letter comes soon after the urgent meeting of the AICF general body was called and held by Raja here on December 14 wherein it was decided to call another such meeting in Bhopal on December 28 to discuss and deliberate on the issues relating to the alleged financial irregularities in Bengal Chess Association (BCA) in the presence of a Central government observer.
Incidentally the December 22 meeting was called by Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan to be held in Gurugram.
The agenda listed by Chauhan in the notice of the general body called by him includes exploring the possibilities of early elections in the AICF, discussing and deciding on the mala fide show cause notice issued by Raja to Chauhan, discussing and deciding about the letter from Sports Authority of India (SAI), and to adopt chess in school projects as proposed by Chauhan.
So, does the latest letter from the Central government mean just a change in the date and venue of December 22 meeting without any change in the agenda?
Reacting to the move, FIDE zone 3.7 President R.M. Dongre told IANS: “The meeting agenda will be decided by the President. The meeting called by Chauhan is illegal as the requisition notice did not mention the names of 10 state associations which had requisitioned the special meeting to be called by the Secretary.”
Dongre accused Chauhan of trying to avoid a discussion on issues relating to Bengal Chess Association.
Meanwhile, the December 14 meeting called by Raja also decided to set a four-member committee comprising Dongre, Chauhan, AICF Treasurer Kishor M. Bandekar, and MP Chess Association Secretary Kapil Saxena.
“The committee will assist President Raja in the day to day management of AICF, till the elections are over,” Dongre added.
On his part, Chauhan told IANS: “There is no question of compromise. Let the issue get settled by elections. The elections should be held under the supervision of a retired Supreme Court judge or an administrator.”
“We also want early elections. But the election should not be held in Chennai,” he added.
Chauhan also rejected the committee as all other three members belong to the faction led by Raja.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at email@example.com)