AICF internal struggles continue amid pandemic

KOLKATA: The COVID-19 The pandemic could have stopped the game worldwide, but it could not avoid internal strife in the Indian Chess Federation (AICF) to continue without ceasing. While AICF President PR Venkatrama Raja decided to remove Bharat Singh Chauhan from the post of honorary secretary, the latter shot back calling the action as unilateral and illegal. Chauhan even questioned the legality of Raja's position as AICF chief.

In a strongly-worded three-page letter, Raja on Monday stated that Chauhan has been acting in complete disregard of AICF constitution since September 2019. The secretary did not even bother to reply to a showcase notice which was issued to him regarding his actions on December 6, 2019. Chauhan, the letter said, had also registered a new website in AICF 's name without authority when the federation was already having an official one.

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Interestingly, the former judge of the Supreme Court of Justice, Judge Fakkir Mohammed Ibrahim Kalifulla declared Ajay Patel as AICF President and Chauhan as secretary for the period 2020-23 in February rejecting all nominations of rival camp candidates for an election. However, the Madras High Court Let go of that choice while listening to a request made by Raja. But Chauhan changed the names of the office holders on the federation's website and asked global governing body Fide to make the changes to their records just to maintain the status quo later.

You are hereby barred from representing yourself or acting as hon. Secy of AICF from immediate effect, the letter concluded.

However, Chauhan claimed Raja has ceased to be the President since February when the elections were called. Although the Madras HC has directed for fresh elections, as Patel was the last person to hold the president's office prior to the court order, he remained the interim chief till new office-bearers are elected.