The demand for elections to the Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTTA) has gained momentum as various markets in the city have come in support of former president Tarachand Kasat’s call for polls to the parent body.
This comes in the backdrop of efforts from Kasat and a few FOSTTA members who were up in arms to topple current president Manoj Agrawal and other members of the body. Kasat had recently begun a movement seeking support from the presidents of different textile trading bodies and traders demanding elections to FOSTTA.
“Since the past 10 years, President Manoj Agrawal, Secre-tary Champalal Bothra and spok-esperson Rangnath Sharda have not organised elections, which should be done every two years, as mentioned in our (FOSTTA) rule book. They are misusing the powers of FOSTTA for their personal gains. When we contacted them, they didn’t give proper answers and misbehaved with us,” Kasat told The Indian Express.
“From February 9, we will sit on a dharna opposite the FOSTTA office on Ring Road. Presidents and secretaries of 10 to 15 markets will sit on the dharna daily for an indefinite period with me. Textile traders will also participate in the dharna,” he further said. There are 155 textile trading markets in Surat.
Textile trader Sambhubhai Poddar, who is also one of the directors of FOSTTA, alleged that president Agrawal has refused to call elections. “We have made representations for elections before president Manoj Agrawal, but he refuses. They have not called a board meeting or an Annual General Meeting,” he said.
However, Agrawal refuted the allegations. “We have not done anything wrong and are not afraid of elections. There are some notorious elements who want to topple the textile body. We are ready for elections. In 2016, we called an AGM and then Covid-19 happened. So, could not organise another AGM,” said Agrawal. Former presidents and current members of FOSTTA, including Sanjay Jagnani, Sawarmal Budhiya, Narendra Saboo, Mah-endra Saluja and Sambhu Poddar (one of the directors) have also backed the movement for elections.
On Monday, Japan Market Co-operative Service Society Ltd, in a letter signed by secretary RK Singh said the Japan market “will not follow any orders and instructions of FOSTTA” until elections are conducted and a new body is elected. “It is not democracy but dictatorship by the current members,” said Singh.