Bengal Chess Association issues show-cause to secretary Atanu Lahiri

Following the All India Chess Federation (AICF) initiating an enquiry against Lahiri, the BCA executive committee decided to show-cause its secretary for his questionable conduct, including an issue of conflict of interest, on August 31.

The BCA also formed an interim committee, consisting of Atin Sengupta, Tapas Sarkar and Asit Baran Choudhury, to conduct the elections – due since eight months – of the association within three months. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

The BCA also formed an interim committee, consisting of Atin Sengupta, Tapas Sarkar and Asit Baran Choudhury, to conduct the elections – due since eight months – of the association within three months. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  C.V. Subrahmanyam

The Bengal Chess Association (BCA) has issued a show-cause notice to its secretary Atanu Lahiri over allegations of ‘misdeeds’ leveled by Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua.

Following the All India Chess Federation (AICF) initiating an enquiry against Lahiri, the BCA executive committee decided to show-cause its secretary for his questionable conduct, including an issue of conflict of interest, on August 31.

The executive committee decided to form a disciplinary panel – comprising vice-presidents Sayan Mukerji and Nantu Pal – to deal with the show-cause notice served to Lahiri. “Executive powers of Lahiri will be seized till the disciplinary committee is satisfied with his reply,” said a BCA statement circulated at a press conference on Tuesday.

Six of the 14-member BCA executive committee were present at the press conference and claimed the support of two others.

The BCA also formed an interim committee, consisting of Atin Sengupta, Tapas Sarkar and Asit Baran Choudhury, to conduct the elections – due since eight months – of the association within three months.

The interim committee “shall exercise all executive powers of the present committee and look after day-to-day affairs of the BCA and the present secretary will cease to have any powers till the new governing body is formed.”

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BCA working president Srenik Sett said Lahiri kept the association members in the dark regarding large amount of State Government funds going to his own organization Global Chess Foundation (GCF). “Lahiri started to misuse the office of the BCA,” said Sett.

Vice-president Sayan Mukerji said the issue of GCF getting Government funds was brought up in BCA’s meeting on July 13.

“We had no idea that his organization (GCF) was getting a substantial grant of Rs 35 lakh a year. It’s a clear case of conflict of interest.

“Besides, he is getting Rs 25,000 per month as a consultant. It is against ethics,” said Mukerji.

Mukerji said Lahiri claiming that the BCA ‘unanimously’ decided not to invite GMs Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Deep Sengupta to chess events was a ‘blatant lie’.

“The executive committee (has) issue apology to both GMs.”

The BCA members condemned Lahiri’s act of stopping two players from participating in chess tournaments.

The association said Lahiri “used his clout” to “illegally appoint Saikat Basu as the president without proper procedure.”