Citizens' Issues
Maharashtra government extends deadline for polls in cooperative societies

A bill to give a green signal to the delayed polls was passed by the Maharashtra state assembly

 

The Maharashtra state government has decided to permit holding of elections for big cooperative societies up to 30 June 2015. A bill to give a green signal to the delay was passed by the Maharashtra state assembly.

 

The cooperative societies have been classified into four categories A, B, C and D on the basis of several parameters. Two of the criteria are the number of members and turnover. A and B are big societies while C and D are smaller societies.

 

After State Cooperative Societies Election Authority (SCESA) was constituted, it started holding the elections of C and D class societies. The deadline earlier was March 2013. As the number of small societies is large - 15,519 - the SCSA told the government that it was not possible to hold elections for so many societies within the deadline.

 

There are 138 A type societies and 3,884 B type. As per the act, the elections must be held within 70 days of announced. The deadline was December 2014. However, SCESA has told the available government machinery was busy in conducting elections of C and D type. Hence it was not possible to hold the polls as per the original schedule.

 

The SCESA urged the government to extend the deadline till June 2015. It has started preparing the electoral rules for A and B class societies.

 

As A and B type societies are relatively large, the number of polling personnel and infrastructure will be far higher than C and D.

 

The state government had amended the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960, and made elections compulsory because many societies had become fiefdoms on politicians or influential persons. These societies were being run like a family business and the societies served vested interest at the cost of members and state exchequer.

 

The SCESA headed by SC Election Commissioner was constituted. A general election of members and then election for office-bearers of the society are being held.

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