Ramesh Chaubey made it again in a fiercely contested election for the post of Chairmanship of the Bihar State Co-operative Bank held in Patna on Thursday. Chaubey won by a huge margin.
Chaubey defeated the Opposition candidate Vinod Kumar Rai by polling 17 votes of the newly elected Board of Directors while his opponent Rai could get just three votes. And even in that he got a vote by mistake, said a victorious Chaubey talking to Indian Cooperative.
A Central Bank representative from Katihar knows neither Hindi nor English, knowing only Urdu she sought the help of the Presiding Officer for casting her vote. It was an error of judgment and the vote went to Rai, say observers.
A jubilant Chaubey vowed to continue the good work he started in his last tenure.
Billed as a fight between two Co-operative Singhs of the state- Biscomaun Chairman Sunil Singh and Nafed director Vishal Singh-the election of the state co-op bank was quite intense. Only three of the old Board members could come back.
Those who got re-elected included Ramesh Chaubey, Vishnudev Rai and Vijay Varmanyan. There were two winners from Male (general) category, one from extremely backward category and two from Women (General) category.
There were no candidates from SC/ST or Woman from Backward categories. Bihar State Cooperative Union Chairman Vinay Shahi was said to have filed his nomination but his application was rejected. Vinay Shahi was not available for comment.
The election also saw coming together of Amar Pandey- a strong cooperator from Muzafferpur to Chaubey’s fold. Pandey who is the son of famed Congress leader Raghunath Pandey was elected unopposed. “The coming together of me and Amar Pandey is an important cooperative development in the state”, conceded Biscomaun Chairman Sunil Singh.
Sunil Singh camps, however, alleges that due to unnecessary interferences by “some” the atmosphere of polling got vitiated. They hinted at Vishal Singh’s camp alleging that both money and muscle powers were employed to stop Chaubey from winning.
Talking to Indian Cooperative Ramesh Chaubey said a consensus was about to be reached for the post of Chairman but then I do not know what happened Vinod Rai said he would contest, Chaubey said suggesting Rai’s last minute brain-washing by the Vishal camp which meant Vishal Singh, Land Mortgage Bank Chairman Vijay Kumar Singh and state union Chairman Vinay Kumar Shahi.
Talking about the role of Sunil Singh, Biscomaun Chairman, Chaubey said “Sunil made all efforts to have a consensus as had been the tradition of cooperatives but he failed. Indian Cooperative failed to establish contact with any of the Vishal Singh camp’s member to know the other side of the story. Usually available Shahi did not pick up the phone on Friday.
Despite some pushback, Chaubey was scornful about calling it a clash of two Singhs. “In cooperative elections only cooperators contest, rising above party, caste or creed”, he said unconvincingly.
It bears recall that there are 22 District Central Cooperative Banks in the state and Bihar State Cooperative Bank is their apex body. Chaubey is a Vice President of the national apex body of co-op banks- NAFSCOB where his tenure will last till 2020.