Lallit Radadiya , the youngest son of late BJP MP Vitthal Radadiya, marked his return to electoral politics as he virtually secured a seat on the board of directors of Rajkot District Cooperative (RDC) Bank, Rajkot as no candidate filed nomination papers against him, paving the way for his election unopposed.
Incidentally, Lalit’s elder brother Jayesh Radadiya, a minister in the cabinet of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, is chairman of the outgoing board of the bank and he too has virtually secured his re-election to the largest farmers cooperative bank in Saurashtra.
Friday was the last day of filing nomination papers for the election to RDC Bank and office of GV Miyani, sub-divisional magistrate of Dhoraji and election officer for the poll, said that no other nomination besides that of Lalit’s had been received for Jamkandorana-II electoral circle.
Lalit is a member Jamkandorana Juth Seva Sahkari Mandali, a cooperative society based in Jamkandorana taluka of Rajkot, and engaged in various farmer welfare activities. After his elevation to the RDC Bank was virtually confirmed, Lalit said he had plans to pursue politics. “This is not for the first time that I have been elected a director of the RDC Bank. I had served as its director from 2004 to 2007. From there on, my elder brother Jayesh took over. But now, I have decided to join politics and render some help to my elder brother,” 36-year-old Lalit told The Indian Express.
He is the fourth member from Radadiya family to fight election and the development comes around a year after Jayesh demanded BJP ticket for him to contest Lok Sabha election from Porbandar, the constituency their father Vitthal Radadiya was representing till 2019. However, the BJP had instead given mandate to Ramesh Dhaduk.
The youngest of Vitthal Radadiya’s three sons, Lalit had settled in Surat where he has real estate development business. But on Friday, he said that he has shifted to Rajkot now and that he would divide his time between Rajkot and Surat. The Radadiyas are native of Jamkandorana and are dominating the cooperative sector in Rajkot.
Vitthal Radadiya, one of the tallest cooperative leaders of Saurashtra, had served as the RDC Bank chairman for almost 22 years before he resigned in February 2018 due to illness. Soon after, his son Jayesh, the Minister of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs, had succeeded him as RDC Bank chairman.
Besides Lalit, 14 other candidates, including 37-year-old Jayesh also virtually secured a seat on the BRC Bank board as no one else fielded nomination papers to contest the seats. “Both Vijay Sakhiya and Yagnesh Joshi are part of cooperative family. They have agreed to withdraw their nomination papers, paving way for election to all the 17 seats uncontested. This is victory of 2.5 lakh farmers who are members of our bank,” Jayesh told mediapersons with Sakhiya flanking him.
Those who have virtually secured their seats on the board include Mahamadjavid Pirjada, the sitting Congress MLA from Wankaner Assembly seat.
Jayesh dedicate win of his panel to his late father but downplayed Lalit’s re-entry into the RDC Bank.
“He has served the Bank in the past also. My father used to represent that Jakandorana cooperative society. Now, Lalit is representing it. But nothing more is to be seen here,” the minister said.
When asked if Lalit will play a more active role in electoral politics now, Jayesh said, “I am already into electoral politics and I believe what I am doing is quite enough.”
Meanwhile, veteran cooperative leaders Vaghji Boda as well as Ghanshyam Khatariya, who is managing director of the bank in the outgoing board as well as Nathu Shingala failed to retain their seats as they didn’t find favour with the Radadiya group which has been dominating the board for the past 22 years.
Scrutiny of nomination papers will take place on Saturday and those filed by candidates of Radadiya group are found valid, they would secure at least 15 seats. If Sakhiya and Joshi don’t withdraw their nomination papers by July 15, polling for the two seats would be conducted on July 26 and counting of votes will be undertaken on July 27.
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