As speculated earlier, the Kushalkar panel won the election of National Labor Cooperative Federation hands down annexing the posts of chairperson and two vice presidents. Avili Mighito Awomi, believed to be the second wife of the outgoing Chairman Sanjeev Kushalkar was elected as the Chairperson and Narendra Singh Rana and Amit Bajaj as Vice -Presidents.
Awomi, whom some say is the second wife of Kushalkar who represents Forest Labour Constituency hails from Nagaland. Some of the Kushalkar detractors described it as “Kushalkar doing a Lalu in labour cooperative politics”. They recalled how Lalu Yadav made Rabri Devi the Chief Minister of Bihar when he himself was barred by the provisions of law.
Talking to this correspondent many opposition leaders felt that Kushalkar’s act of putting his wife as the Chairperson of the apex body does not augur well for the cooperative movement. They have serious misgivings about the fact that Awomi would be able to discharge her responsibility independent of her husband.
The election was held at the federation’s headquarters in Sarita Vihar, New Delhi. However, the Kushalkar panel’s opponents accused it of spending money like water on wooing voters which detracted from the shine of its victory.
Amit Bajaj and Narendra Singh Rana hail from Punjab and Haryana respectively. Both the vice-presidents are from Labour Contract Constituency.
It was also for the first time that the most successful Labour co-op in the country-ULCCS found a berth on the Board. Kishor Kumar of Uralungal Labour Contract Cooperative Society bagged 121 votes. Talking to this correspondent, Kumar said, “I have made the road map to revive the NLCF in a span of three years and we have already submitted our proposals to the board”.
More than 90 percent voting was recorded. 142 delegates from Labour Contract Constituency and 51 delegates from Forest Labour Constituency cast their votes. Only 12 votes were found invalid from both the constituencies.
It was a measure of how badly the V.V.P was defeated that their two candidates including Nafed Government Nominee Ashok Thakur and Divya Nair even failed to win a single vote. V.V.P Nair himself could manage to get 9 votes and his panel candidates like Gurmeet Singh and Harinder Kumar could get only 5 and 8 votes respectively.
It is to be noted that Awomi received 48 votes while his rival Divya Nair failed to open her account. Amit Bajaj and Narendra Singh Rana got 120 and 119 votes respectively.
Meanwhile, the Ex-MLA and Ex-Chairman of NLCF and a familiar face in the cooperative circles Jagjit Singh Sangwan got only 4 votes.
One of the candidates from the opposition panel alleged that offering reservation for women on the board was the Kushalkar team’s game. Since Sanjeev Kushalkar himself was not able to seek re-election as the Multi State Cooperative Act bars him from doing so. He sought to make reservation for women so as to make his second wife as the dummy chairperson of the apex body”, he said.
For the first time in the history of NLCF, seats have been reserved for women. And now four women are elected to the board. Soon after the result, impatient supporters garlanded winners. Retired Chief Director, Ministry of Agriculture, Sukhdeo Indoria had been appointed as the returning officer.
The List of Directors is as Follows:
- Avili Mighito Awomi (Chairperson)
- Amit Bajaj (Vice-President)
- Narendra Singh Rana (Vice-President)
- Sanjeev Kushalkar (Director)
- Wasudevrao Tekam (Director)
- Ashok Dabbas (Director)
- Ramesh Ramhut (Director)
- D. Raja Lixmi (Women Director)
- Kishor Kumar (Director)
- Mansukhlal Gohel (Director)
- Ramshankar Shukla (Director)
- Sunita Vilas Mali (Women Director)
- Avinash Gotarne (Director)
- Lolia Susan (Women Director)
- Arjunrao Borude (Director)
(With inputs from Ajay Jha)