“I am not aware of it but if you could get me a true picture I would be obliged”, retorted Bijender Singh when Indian Cooperative correspondent wanted to know his reaction on the raging rumour on the cancellation of the NCCF election held last February.
We did not appoint the returning officer; the government itself appointed a highly rated former Chief Director S D Induria, he reminded. The Ministry ordered the election and the reasons you mention responsible for the cancellation of the election sound unfounded, explained Mr Singh.
Readers would know that the cooperative grapevine had it that the government has once again superceded the Board of the National Consumer Cooperative Federation Board annulling the elections on a complaint of government nominee Vijay Kumar.
Some of his complaints included the lack of information about the election, CBI enquiry against former Chairman Virendra Singh, the lack of clean-chit to the current chairman in Nafed issue, etc.
When Vijay Kumar was appointed only a day before how could he be informed 15 days in advance and it is on record that he filed nomination for vice-chairmanship but withdrew soon after fearing his impending defeat. Was he not there?, wondered the present Chairman Bijender Singh.
”There is no charge sheet against me in any court of the country,” he said jokingly when this correspondent drew his attention to his involvement in the Nafed tie-up losses being cited as one of the reasons for canceling the NCCF election. ”I was the first to be acquitted as soon as the Congress rule ended, ‘he said. ‘ Mr Singh is said to have angered former strongman Sharad Pawar by going against his wish and throwing himself in the race earlier.
Referring to the charges of the pending CBI enquiry against former Chairman Virendra Singh, Bijendra said who says he cannot fight election; there are byelaws and those were observed by the govt appointed Returning Officer. If pending enquiry disqualifies a person, tell me how many elected persons will have to vacate their assembly and parliament seats?
Talking about his next move Bijender Singh said he would not mind fighting election again but final decision would emerge when all of us sit together and deliberate on the unfolding scene. He denied the present situation is a fall-out from the Vishal-Virendra spat and said both are close to him.