Caught in the electoral mode, BJP President Amit Shah addressed a co-operative conference in Lucknow and said that while SP and BSP have done everything to destroy the co-op movement in Uttar Pradesh BJP is trying to revive it.
A cooperative leader in his own right and the one who has been on the board of several co-op bodies in Gujarat, Shah was addressing the Sahkarita Bandhu conference at the Ambedkar auditorium of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University in Lucknow.
Amit Shah also compared the two regimes- BJP and UPA at the federal level and said that while the former gave Rs 73,000 crore to the co-op sector, UPA in its five year tenure ended by giving merely Rs 23,635 crore. Nobody knows from where did he get this figure, said a cooperator from Uttar Pradesh.
Experts, however feel that ever since BJP came to power in Uttar Pradesh it has been making efforts to capture the levers of co-op power. “We have practically won a major percentage of PACS and district level co-op positions for which elections were held recently”, said a cooperator connected with BJP in the state.
It bears recall that under the leadership of State General Secretary of BJP in Uttar Pradesh Mr Vidya Sagar Sonkar a committee has been formed to oversee the elections of cooperative societies in the state. The job of winning co-op elections and making them free of the SP-BSP influences rests on this committee, informed sources confide.
The opposition parties, meanwhile, have leveled charges of rigging and use of the state power by the BJP to win co-op elections. Hundreds of cases are pending in courts when several non-BJP cooperators were not allowed to even file nominations, sources say.
There are around 50,000 registered cooperative societies in the state which leaders of SP had under their control in the past.
Shah in the co-op conference said that while UPA neglected the cooperative societies, the Narendra Modi-led Central government was working with transparency towards the strengthening of this sector, which was necessary for improving the farmers’ economic status. Shah also asked the cooperators of UP to follow the model of co-op growth as practiced in Gujarat and Maharashtra.