HC scuttles govt move to stay Biscomaun polls

PATNA: Bihar State Co-operative Marketing Union (Biscomaun) Limited chairman Sunil Kumar Singh claimed that the Patna High Court on Friday stayed the letter of the registrar, co-operatives, issued on May 1, directing for the stay of the elections to the board of directors of the apex co-operative body. Addressing a press conference on Friday, he said the elections will be held as per schedule. Singh said as per schedule, the nominations will be filed on May 12 and 188 delegates will cast their votes to elect 14 board of directors on May 24. “I have apprehensions that despite the court’s ruling, the state government may still try to scuttle the polls,” he remarked. He pointed out that in the last session of the state legislature, the state government had got a Bill passed amending the Bihar Co-operative Society Act, 1935, thereby empowering itself to stop elections of co-operative bodies under the pretext of implementing the Vaidyanathan Committee recommendations. “We got a letter from the registrar, co-operatives, directing us to postpone the polls while quoting the new amendment in the act,” Singh said. The letter also announced that the elections will be conducted by an autonomous body to be constituted by the state government. He said some elected delegates of Biscomaun had moved the HC challenging the registrar’s orders. Singh questioned the motive of the state government to stop elections in Biscomaun. “There are 28 Apex Co-operative bodies in the state. The government has chosen to stay the elections of only five of them,” Singh said, alleging that the state government wanted its own handpicked persons to head the body. He stressed that Biscomaun did not come under the purview of Vaidyanathan Committee recommendations. Once flaunted as the moving force of co-operative movement in Bihar, the Biscomaun came under severe strain due to financial irregularities and was reduced to a position where it could not pay salaries to its employees. Singh said the business of selling seeds, fertilizers and procurement of foodgrains has been partially restored
10 May 2008, 0631 hrs IST , TNN


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