The mystery around who would be the new Chairman of the apex body of labor cooperatives- National Labor Cooperative Federation (NLCF) deepened with the outgoing Chairman Sanjiv Kushalkar hinting the emergence of a new face for the top post, unknown to cooperators so far.
In a telephonic conversation Kushalkar asked Indian Cooperative to “wait and watch” and gave enough hint to suggest that a new face, who has not been on the Board of NLCF so far, may emerge as the Chairman. Kushalkar who has a powerful hold over the labor cooperatives across the country has already made up his mind. “Have patience you would be the first to know”, he said in a friendly tone.
When Indian Cooperative talked to other members of the outgoing board such as Ashok Dabas or Amit Bajaj, they expressed full confidence in Kushalkar’s leadership. Dabas said “I do not aim to be NLCF Chairman and I am happy with Kushalkar nominating me for NCUI”.
But the run up to the elections has not been without its share of controversies. One of the outgoing Directors V.V.P.Nair, who hails from Goa filed a petition in Delhi High Court last week raising objection to membership granted to about 10 Agriculture Multipurpose Cooperative Societies by NLCF.
Quoting the bye-laws of NLCF, Nair informed that these agri societies are not entitled to be the members of the federation which consists mainly of construction labor co-ops and forest labor co-ops.
Nair charged some members close to the current leadership obtained the membership by playing fraud. The hearing in this matter was scheduled on 1st July 2019 but Nair is said to have developed cold feet and withdrew his petition in the nick of the time. “Nair cannot stand before Kushalkar”, quipped a cooperator commenting on the development.
Kushalkar himself promised to this correspondent to “tell everything” once he comes to Delhi on Thursday evening. “We can meet at NLCF Headquarters in Sarita Vihar in Delhi Friday afternoon after the filing of nominations are over and a clear picture emerges”, he added.
It bears recall that NLCF will go to the polls on 12th July but the outgoing Chairman Sanjeev Kushalkar who hails from Maharashtra would not be able to seek re-election as the Multi State Cooperative Act (MSCS) bars him from doing so.
Retired Chief Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Sukhdeo Indoria has been appointed as the returning officer to oversee the election process.
The board comprises of 17 directors out of which 10 seats are reserved for Labour Contract Cooperatives, 5 for Forest Cooperatives, 1 seat for government nominee and 1 seat for woman director.
Over 260 members are eligible to cast the vote during the election. 197 members are from Labour Contract Cooperatives and the rest from Forest labour cooperatives.
As per the election schedule, candidates can file their nominations papers from 2nd to 5th July. Scrutiny and withdrawal of nominations papers would take place on 8th and 9th July respectively. 12th July is the day for the election. The election result would be announced on the same day.
(With input from Ajay Jha)