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AICF holds meeting, calls for elections on Feb 10

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Chennai, Dec 14: Despite the threat of revocation of recognition issued by the Central government, the All India Chess Federation (AICF) held its urgent general body meeting here on Saturday and decided to hold elections to select its office-bearers on February 10, 2020, an official said.

The official also said that another meeting of the AICF general body will be called in Bhopal on December 28 to discuss and deliberate on the issues relating to the alleged financial irregularities in Bengal Chess Association (BCA).

"We did not defy the Sports Ministry's direction. The Sports Ministry had said the December 14 meeting may be cancelled. The ministry was not categorical in asking AICF to cancel the urgent general body meeting," R.M. Dongre, FIDE Zone President 3.7, told IANS soon after the meeting.

"The meeting did not take up the matter relating to BCA as the Sports Ministry had wanted a Central government observer to be present at the meeting. Hence a separate meeting of the general body will be called on December 28 in Bhopal," Dongre added.

The meeting also decided to set a four-member committee comprising Dongre, Bharat Singh Chauhan, AICF Secretary, Kishor M. Bandekar, AICF Treasurer and Kapil Saxena, Secretary, MP Chess Association, to assist AICF President P.R. Venketrama Raja in managing the February 10 elections.

According to Dongre, the general body also decided to give additional time to Chauhan to reply to the show cause notice issued to him.

One of the agendas of the meeting was to discuss the show cause notice issued to Chauhan. According to Dongre, the meeting decided to ask/request Chauhan to cancel the special meeting of the AICF general body called on December 22.

"The notice for the December 22 meeting did not mention the names of the 10 officials who had requisitioned the calling of the special meeting, Dongre added.

In a letter to Raja on Friday, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs had said: "It has been observed that a meeting has been called by the President on 14.12.2019 and by the Secretary on 22.12.2019 with almost the same agenda.

"As the matter relating to financial irregularities in conduct of national championship and forged signatures are to discussed, the Ministry will depute an observer for the meeting.

"The meeting proposed to be convened by the President, AICF, on 14.12.2019 may be cancelled and meeting may be held on 22.12.2019 as scheduled by Secretary, AICF, so that government observer is able to attend the meeting."

"In case, the directions of the ministry are not complied with and there is an attempt to suppress the complaints regarding financial irregularities, the government will take a serious view in the matter, warranting action for suspension/de-recognition of the Federation by the Ministry," it added.

The government had sent the letter to the AICF President after considering a letter from Chauhan.

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