Beyond 64 Squares: AICF seeks sports ministry intervention in conducting elections

The All India Chess Federation has sought the intervention of Union Sports Ministry to conduct the election of the body already marred by factional fights.

Chess

Representative image: The AICF has sought the intervention of the Union Sports Ministry to conduct the elections   -  Getty Images

The All India Chess Federation on Wednesday decided to approach the union sports ministry seeking its intervention in conducting the election of the body already marred by factional fights.

Among the other notable decision taken at the Special General Body Meeting, a five-member panel was formed to look into the day to day affairs of the federation.

The five-member committee comprising Vipnesh Bharadwaj, Naresh Sharma, Bhavesh Patel, Neeraj Kumar Mishra and Bhagyashree Thipsay.

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Bharadwaj, one of the committee members told PTI, “Yes..it will be a steady process, but we will end the turmoil. Chess players will gain. Chess and AICF will shine again!!”

The SGM held through an online conference was attended by as many as 25 affiliated state bodies with 44 members taking part, a press release from the AICF said.

In all, seven associations, and PR Venketrama Raja (Chairman, Ramco Group), the AICF president and Vijay Deshpande opposed the meeting.

As a result of the ongoing turmoil in the AICF which has resulted in two websites, different email IDs and hordes of other pending matters, the meeting chaired by senior member Naresh Sharma was held and important decisions taken, the release said.

It was decided to approach the Sports Ministry to conduct the elections to the AICF under its supervision.

“The election of the AICF have to be held according to the ruling of honourable courts. It has been decided to approach the ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to conduct the election under its supervision,” one of the decisions taken today said.

The decision to form a committee was taken as members were very unhappy that without the approval of Central Council/General Body, Venketrama Raja and Vijay Deshpande tried to change the signatory at the bank.

As a result, Indian Bank, Chennai, had frozen any type of withdrawals from AICF accounts.

The members felt the matter should be enquired as to how on March 31 within one day after illegal appointment of Deshpande, DV Sundar visited the bank with signature of Deshpande when country was under lockdown?

The President (Raja) had dismissed Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan from the post, which the latter objected to. He had also appointed Vijay Deshpande of All Marathi Chess Association as the AICF Secretary without any election being held which Chauhan objected to.

The AICF is split into two factions - one headed by Raja and the other by Chauhan, who have been at loggerheads over various issues and have taken the federation election process to the courts.

It was also decided that no person will claim to be office-bearer of AICF, especially with Raja, Kishore Bandekar and Vijay Deshpande being restrained from using the federation position, name, logo, letterhead, email and website.

Also, the Bengal Chess Association was disaffiliated and an ad-hoc committee formed because the elections were not according to AICF bye-laws and sports code of India.

It had not made changes to their by-laws as per the federation’s constitution.

It was decided to restore the affiliation of Maharashtra Chess Association and Rajasthan Chess Association while the nomination of Mr. Ravindra Dongre to FIDE positions stood withdrawn.

The participants at today’s meeting also welcomed the initiative by FIDE (The World Chess Association) to resolve the issue among the AICF office- bearers.

A decision was taken to conduct an online programme for coaches, players and arbiters.

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