AICF elections: Chauhan faction flags violation of Sports Code in nominations from rival camp

All-India Chess Federation secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan challenged the nomination of Venkatrama Raja for the post of president for the elections scheduled on January 4.

In a standoff: AICF president P. R. Venketrama Raja (left) and Bharat Singh Chauhan.   -  Bijoy Ghosh/ S. S. Kumar

All-India Chess Federation (AICF) secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan on Friday challenged the nomination of Venkatrama Raja for the post of president for the elections scheduled on January 4 on the ground of violation of the Sports Code.

Chauhan claimed that the nominations of Raja and and Ravindra Dongre -- for the post of secretary -- violated the Sports Code, as both of them are not elected members of any state association. He said under rules Raja and Dongre cannot contest elections as their names cannot be in the voters'' list.

"The names of Raja and Dongre cannot be in the voters’ list because they are not elected representatives of their respective state associations. Only those whose names appear in the voters’ list are eligible to contest AICF elections," he said.

READ: New secretary refutes charges made by Chauhan

Chauhan, seeking his second term as secretary, has urged the court-appointed Returning Officer Justice (retired) K Kannan to reject their (Raja''s and Dongre''s) nominations.

He said he has filed an objection to the Returning Officer, who will hear it on Saturday. Kannan had released the list of nominated candidates for 15 posts.

The chess federation is split into two camps -- one headed by Raja and the other by Chauhan, who have been at loggerheads over various issues.

While the Chauhan camp has filed nominations for the posts of president, secretary, treasurer, six vice-presidents and five joint secretaries, the Raja-led faction has put up candidates for five vice- presidents and six joint secretaries apart from those of president, secretary and treasurer.

In another development, Uttar Pradesh Chess Association president Sanjay Kapoor will be contesting for the post of AICF president as part of the Chauhan camp. He had filed the nominations to contest for the vice-president post as part of the Raja faction earlier in February which was later annulled by the Madras High Court.

There are 32 state associations in the electoral college with two votes each.

According to the list of nominations filed, candidates from 28 state associations are contesting for various posts. While the Chauhan camp claims support of 14 associations, sources in the Raja faction said they had the backing of 18 associations.

The Returning Officer will conduct scrutiny of nominations on Saturday via video conference and announce the final list of contesting candidates the same evening.

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