Updated: September 15, 2021 3:40:03 am
As many as 3,800 cooperative bodies in Maharashtra are all set to hold polls as the Maharashtra government has given the green signal for the same. These elections were delayed for months due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, and the tenure for most of the cooperative bodies has ended 18 months ago.
A total of 45,000 cooperative bodies — which includes 48 sugar mills, 66 spinning mills and the district central cooperative banks (DCCB)s of Pune, Nanded, Satara, Kolhapur, Sangli, Akola, Gadchiroli, Ahmednagar, Aurangabad, Jalgaon, Nashik, Osmanabad, Dhule, Beed, Parbhani, Latur, Thane, Mumbai, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg — have to elect a new board of directors. Cooperative housing societies with more than 250 members also need to hold elections.
According to the state’s schedule for cooperative body elections, the process will start from September 20 when, in the first phase, elections will be held for 3,800 of the 45,000 cooperative bodies. This will include 11 DCCBs, 20 cooperative sugar mills and 11 spinning mills. In the first phase, the state government has excluded cooperative housing societies with 250 or fewer members.
The process will entail the publication of electoral rolls, inviting suggestions and objections, and appointing returning officers to oversee the polls. The state government has instructed that Covid-appropriate behaviour such as usage of mask and sanitiser should be ensured during voting.
Suhas Patwardhan, president of the Pune District Cooperative Housing Federation, said nearly 4,000 of the 18,000 housing societies in the city are due for polls.
“Many of the housing societies are yet to hold their annual general body meetings. The same will not be possible this month given the festivities. We have demanded that the state government allows an extension,” he said.
Elections to cooperative bodies, mainly for DCCBs and cooperative sugar mills, are expected to see intense politicking. These are the first major elections after the gram panchayat polls and political parties are expected to go all out to wrestle control of these bodies. Traditionally, cooperative bodies have been under the control of Congress and NCP but given the changed political dynamics in the state, the cooperative elections are set to see renewed and intense campaigning.
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