Newly-nominated secretary of the All India Chess Federation Vijay Deshpande has refuted the charges made on Tuesday by his predecessor Bharat Singh Chauhan and questioned his actions.

On Tuesday, the AICF president P. R. Venketrama Raja removed Chauhan from the post of secretary . Soon thereafter, Chauhan shot off a letter to all ‘stakeholders’ and maintained that he continued to be the secretary.

Reacting to Chauhan’s allegation that Raja’s action was a “malicious attempt to cover his tracks,” Deshpande said, “Chauhan should read the court order carefully and then challenge. Raja has no need to cover for anybody. Having made a huge contribution for the cause of chess, Raja is also known as the first sponsor of Viswanathan Anand. Raja does not require any certification from Chauhan.”

Desphande described Chauhan’s charge that Raja removed him to save All Marathi Chess Association (AMCA) as “irrelevant and meaningless.”

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Chauhan had pointed out AMCA’s delay in submitting the accounts to the State authorities after availing a grant of ₹2 crore for holding the World Youth Chess Championship (WYCC) in Mumbai last October and that Raja was trying to save the State chess body. “What has AICF or its president got to do with this? Maharashtra government has asked for the expenditure statement of the WYCC. The statement is now with the special auditors nominated for the purpose. As soon as AMCA gets the certified audit report, it will be submitted. What is there to save AMCA?” wondered Deshpande.