HYDERABAD: The TRS government is all set to defer elections to cooperative societies in the state. The tenure of the state cooperative bank and district marketing and credit societies will end in February 2018.
As per the original schedule, the election process should begin in June this year as the district reorganisation has increased the number of districts. The existing executive bodies for these cooperative banks were elected in 2013 before the formation of Telangana and also reorganisation of districts. The elections were held on the basis of 10 districts and are functioning in the same geographical limits even today.
To change their scope of operation and increase the number of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies and district cooperative central banks, an amendment to the cooperative law is required. At the same time, the operational limits of each primary district bank must be finalised. To carry out this reorganization, the existing bodies should be dissolved and assets and liabilities should be divided as per the new geographical area. For this entire process, the Reserve Bank of India should give its approval.
“All this require at least one year’s time. As the state government is not keen to conduct elections to cooperative bodies, we have not initiated the process,” said a senior official in the cooperation department.
The TRS is not interested in holding the elections before the general polls as it would impact the fortunes of the political parties in 2019. It is also fearing that the local polls will ignite group politics and factions within the party as large number of party workers are interested in these lucrative posts.
The state cooperative bank chairman post is most sought after by some ministers in the state cabinet. With thousands of crores worth deposits and power to disperse funds as loans, the cooperative banks in Telangana command huge political weight. The district central bank chairman post is seen as more important than that of a district minister. Intense competition is in the air for these posts and the TRS leadership is of the opinion that calling for cooperative elections would stir up a hornet’s nest.
Moreover, any adverse result in one or two districts would serve as an ammunition to opposition parties that are hell-bent on making the TRS government ‘unpopular’. Not to give any chance to these forces, the TRS government is likely to appoint incharges to banks in February 2018 and initiate the reorganization of district and primary societies according to their area, assets and liabilities. After the completion of the process, the elections will be notified by the State Election Commission, said sources in the government.