The state government’s latest decision not to allow defaulter Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies to participate in voting to elect the presidents and directors of District Cooperative Central Banks (DCCBs), whose polls will be held on Feb 18 and 19, is said to have widened the rift between the camps of chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC chief Botcha Satyanarayana.
Botcha’s supporters say the decision is detrimental to the interests of the Congress even in districts where the ruling party stood first in cooperative polls.
Citing Anantapur district as an example, they say the Congress party had won as many as 50 PACs out of 108 in the district. However, following government’s decision to prohibit defaulted PACS from voting in the DCCB polls, the ruling party has now been relegated to the third position as 31 PACS won by it are on the defaulters list.
However, as a result of disqualification of the PACS which failed to pay their dues to the government, the government on Thursday postponed polls in Anantapur district. More than 50 percent of the societies in the district have defaulted on loan repayment.
Interestingly, in the wake of the government’s decision not to allow defaulted PACS to cast their votes, the PCC chief’s close aide and former MLA Karanam Dharmasri has lost the opportunity to contest for the president of Visakhapatnam DCCB. The reason is that the cooperative society being represented by Dharmasri has to pay heavy dues to the government.
Some aides of the PCC chief allege that the government has taken the decision of debarring defaulted PACS only to improve the Congress party’s chances in the chief minister’s native Chittoor district.
With the government’s decision not to allow defaulted societies to vote, YSRC in Chittoor district has been relegated to the third position as the PACS won by its candidates are now on the defaulters list.
This means, in Chittoor district, Congress and YSRC have 21 PACS each and the TDP has 17. Following the denial of voting right to defaulted societies, the number of PACS of YSRC has come down to 13 as eight PACS out of its 21 are on the list of defaulters. This development increased the ruling party’s chances in Kiran Reddy’s native district to bag DCCB president’s posts with the help of either TDP or YSRC.
“The chief minister has taken this decision only to improve the party’s position in his native district so as to win brownie points from the high command,” a close aide of the PCC chief said.
Meanwhile, with DCCB polls just three days away, Kiran Reddy has intensified efforts to bring unity among warring groups in the party so as to make the Congress bag as many DCCBs as possible.