CHENNAI: Electoral officer Justice (retd) J Kannan has called five units of the All India Chess Federation for a virtual meeting on Thursday. The matter pertains to the eligibility of Tamil Nadu, Telangana, West Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar, UP to vote at the AICF elections.
The last time AICF elections saw contests was in 2005. This time, the factions headed by president PR Venketrama Raja and secretary BS Chauhan are locked in a fierce battle.
The Chauhan group has raised objections against the presence of a number of state unit representatives in the electoral college. Their argument is that some of these units have not held elections in time while some of them flout registration norms.
Tamil Nadu being called for Thursday's meeting is significant because Raja, the current president, who is also an aspirant for the post in the upcoming elections represents the state. If the electoral officer rules out Tamil Nadu, it will be a huge blow for the Raja camp.
The association secretary told Express recently that they have not done anything that makes them ineligible to vote.
In defence of not holding elections, the lawyer representing the Raja camp has cited the pandemic and lockdown. Lawyers of the Chauhan camp have argued that states which have not held elections should be left out of the electoral roll.
According to a Madras High Court order, the electoral officer's decision in this regard is final. There is more to it.
According to a sports ministry directive, elections have to be held before December 31. To hold the annual general meeting, where elections will take place, a notice has to be issued before 21 days. This means to meet the deadline, the notice has to be sent on Thursday. With the electoral college not final yet, it remains to be seen whether the AICF can get things done on time.