Alleging a move by the ruling SP to dislodge BSP supporters from cooperative societies by reducing their term,the states main opposition BSP has written to the governor demanding that the Uttar Pradesh Cooperative Societies Act,1965,be amended to bring it in tune with the Constitutions 97th amendment to provide for a fixed tenure of five years for cooperative bodies.
In his letter,Leader of Opposition in the Assembly and former cooperative minister Swami Prasad Maurya has alleged that the SP government was planning to bring an ordinance reducing the tenure of management committees of cooperative bodies by one year.
We wont allow this government to reduce the tenure of cooperative bodies, Maurya said. Instead,the government should amend UPCSA to bring it in tune with the Constitutions 79th amendment,he said.
Any reduction of cooperative bodies tenure by one year would automatically lead to the removal of BSP supporters from various posts. The BSP believes that the state government wants to do this before holding fresh cooperative elections.
In UP,the SP had remained an unchallenged player in the politics of cooperative bodies before the formation of the BSP government in 2007. The BSP government first reduced the tenure of elected cooperative bodies from three to two years in September 2007. Subsequently,fresh elections to about 11,790 of the total 12,291 cooperative bodies were held and a good number of BSP men got elected to posts like chairman and director.
In June 2011,the BSP government issued an ordinance extending the tenure of management committees of cooperative societies across the state by one year. This enabled the BSP supporters to continue on various posts of cooperative bodies even under the current regime of the SP government headed by Akhilesh Yadav.
In the meantime,the central government,in order to bring uniformity in the functioning of cooperative societies,amended the Constitution to provide for a fixed five-year term. The BSP believes that in spite of the constitutional amendment,the SP wants to reduce the term of cooperative societies in order to evict the BSP men.
The co-operatives are crucial in politics at the village level because their functionaries are in a position to oblige farmers by arranging loans,fertilizers and seeds. Incidentally,Shivpal Singh Yadav,Cooperative Minister and CM Akhileshs uncle,is also chairman of the District Cooperative Bank of Etawah.