POLLING TO elect a new board of directors of the Rajkot District Cooperative (RDC) Bank, the largest farmer’s cooperative bank of Saurashtra that is presently led by Consumer Affairs Minister Jayesh Radadiya, will be conducted on July 26. The counting will take place the following day as per the revised poll schedule notified by an election officer on Thursday.
GV Miyani, sub-divisional magistrate of Dhoraji and election officer for the polls, on Thursday announced the resumption of the process for conducting election to the board of directors of the bank. The election was originally scheduled to take place in April this year. but was suspended following the outbreak of coronavirus.
However, as per the revised schedule, the process will resume with the disposal of objections to electoral rolls on July 4. The final voter’s list will be published on July 6. The nomination filing will start on July 7 and the last date to withdraw candidature is July 13. Polling will be conducted on July 26 at Choudhary High School and counting of votes will take place the following day.
The bank has jurisdiction over Rajkot and Morbi districts.
“As per the government notification of March 24, 2020, we had suspended the election process when we had completed the process of receiving claims and objections related to voters’ list. But now, in compliance with the government notification of June 30, 2020, we have announced to resume the election process from the stage it had been kept pending,” Miyani said.
Jayesh Radadiya, Minister of Food, Civil Supply & Consumer Affairs and Cottage Industries, is the incumbent chairman of the bank. He was elected chairman in February, 2018, after his father Vitthal Radaiya resigned citing ill health.
Vitthal Radadiya, one of the tallest cooperative leaders of Saurashtra, had served as RDC Bank chairman for 22 years before resigning. Days later, he had succumbed to prolonged illness.
The 17-member board of directors of the bank comprises 13 seats of farmers’ cooperative societies’ constituency, two of non-agricultural lending societies’ constituency, one each of marketing and processing constituency and other cooperative societies’ constituency.
Vitthal Radadiya had held sway over even as he defected to BJP from Congress. “When Vitthal Radadiya was with Congress, cooperative leaders pledging their allegiance to Congress were dominating the board. But it changed with him defecting to the BJP in 2013. Now, there is little resistance from Congress. Radadiya’s dominance is partly due to the fact that Leuva Patels, the community he hails from, is numerically the biggest group in Rajkot and they control the majority of cooperative societies which have voting rights,” said a veteran cooperative leader.
In the outgoing board, only Wankaner MLA Mahamadjavid Pirjada, Vaghji Boda, Dayabhai Pipariya and Ghanshyam Khatariya pledge their allegiance to Congress.
Incidentally, elections to cooperative bodies in Gujarat are not fought on party symbols, but a number of big names in power politics — including Union Home Minister Amit Shah — are office bearers in them.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines