By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Dec 25 (IANS) A day prior to the scrutiny of the nominations filed by persons wishing to contest in the All India Chess Federation (AICF) polls, objections have been raised against former President P.R. Venketrama Raja’s nomination for the post of President.
The objection has been raised by his rival and the President of UP Chess Sports Association, Sanjay Kapoor, through his authorised representative Sanjay Chadha.
Kapoor has filed his nomination for the AICF President’s post.
The AICF is split into two factions – one headed by Raja and the other by its Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan.
“Raja (representative of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association or TNSCA) is not eligible to vote and contest in the elections of AICF as he is disqualified under Clause 3.2 of the National Sports Development Code of India, 2011,” Chadha told IANS.
He said a representation to the Madras High Court appointed Election Officer K. Kannan, a retired Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, has been sent on Kapoor’s behalf.
Citing a reply from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports on a query raised by a person named Ranjeet Kumar under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Chauhan told IANS that the Central government has clarified that that as per Clause 3.2, only elected representatives of permanent member state associations, who are members of the executive body of the concerned member state association, can vote and participate in the elections of AICF.
“Elections shall be held at the annual general council meeting in accordance with the procedures prescribed hereinafter from among the representatives of the permanent member states/Union Territories/boards/institutions,” the Central government had replied to Kumar.
Kumar had asked the Central government: “Who should be the representative of the state association while attending the national federation meeting? Anyone authorised by the president or he/she should be an elected member of the executive committee of the concerned state association?”
“Only persons who are the elected members of the executive body of the state/UT associations can be authorised by the President of such association to represent in the meetings of the National Sports Federation (NSF) and vote in the elections of the NSFs,” Chadha and Chauhan contended.
Chauhan said that proxy voting is not allowed, adding that Raja is neither an elected member nor an executive member of TNSCA and hence he is disqualified under Clause 3.2 of the National Sports Development Code.
Raja’s nomination paper is liable to be rejected, Chadha told Kannan in his letter.
Chadha said during the AICF elections held in February 2020 (later annulled by the Madras High Court), Raja himself had admitted that he is only a life member of TNSCA and not an elected executive member.
Citing the Madras High Court’s orders that the elections should be held as per the National Sports Development Code, Kapoor has requested Kannan to reject Raja’s nomination papers and also not allow him to vote.
According to V. Kameswaran, India’s first International Chess Arbiter, TNSCA does not have the category of lifetime member.
“Couple of years back, TNSCA had changed all life members into lifetime registered players. As life members, they could attend the general body meeting of TNSCA. But as lifetime registered players, they are not eligible for that. I was a life member and now I’m a lifetime registered player,” Kameswaran had told IANS recently.
As per TNSCA’s website, Kameswaran’s registration number is 8 while Raja’s registration number is 39. The TNSCA has given them only the registration number, and not membership number.
(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at [email protected])