By Venkatachari Jagannathan
Chennai, Sep 26 (IANS) One of the hot topics to be discussed at the Central Council meeting of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) to be held in New Delhi October 15 will be the controversy surrounding the Bengal Chess Association (BCA), said an official of the Indian chess body.
“The BCA issue is one of the items in the Central Council meeting agenda. The council will discuss and decide the affairs of the BCA,” the official told IANS preferring anonymity.
As per the agenda, the AICF Central Council will also discuss and decide on the sudden resignation of AICF Vice President Manoj Itkelwar, and the affairs of Himachal Pradesh State Chess Association, among other things.
However, the BCA issue is expected to gain more attention as what had begun as a simple compliant against International Master and BCA Secretary Atanu Lahiri, who’s also the AICF Joint Secretary, by Grand Master Dibyendu Barua, has now turned into a full-fledged battle between the state association and the AICF.
The Barua gambit opening is likely to face serious counter attacks from the rival camp.
While the AICF has directed the BCA to hold its annual general meeting (AGM) under the supervision of a three-member AICF committee comprising Vice Presidents A. Narasimha Reddy and D.V. Sundar and Treasurer Kishor Bhandekar, the state association seems to be not in favour of it, as well as the polls to elect its office bearers.
The AICF has also tasked the three-member committee to probe the complaint lodged by Barua against Lahiri.
Meanwhile, the Central government, while forwarding the complaint sent by Barua to the AICF, has asked the latter to file an action taken report on the matter.
On Tuesday, a three-member ad hoc committee of the BCA announced its decision to remove Lahiri from the post of Secretary as he did not respond to the show cause notice issued to him by its Disciplinary Committee on September 2.
The BCA has also obtained an ad-interim order of injunction from a local court against the AICF and A. Narasimha Reddy, Chairman of the AICF Enquiry Committee, restraining them from issuing any direction pertaining to holding of elections.
The court has also restrained Lahiri from acting as BCA Secretary and ordered status quo with regard to election activities till November 20, 2019.
On his part, Lahiri has approached the Calcutta High Court seeking redressal against the actions of the BCA Executive Committee.
While the AICF has in the past disaffiliated several state chess associations, whether it will resort to such an action against the BCA is a big question even though the latter’s action is against the former.
Murmurs in the chess circles say that AICF may not go that far.