Having won 16 of the 19 District Cooperative Bank (DCCBs) president posts for which elections were held on Tuesday, the Congress is now looking towards the local body elections to be held within the next three months with a growing sense of confidence.
Of the 22 DCCBs, elections for three districts - Guntur, Anantapur and Prakasam - were stayed. Elections were held only for 19 DCCBs on Tuesday but results were announced only for 16 DCCBs. This was because there was no quorum in Kadapa and Khammam districts while in Warangal, the result was withheld as the person who was defeated alleging that the winner had a criminal background.
The Congress leaders were sure that the victory that they had ‘managed’ in the cooperative election would give them enough grist to run the mill of propaganda that the Congress is a force to reckon with. “We are sure to win the panchayat elections too just as they way we did in cooperative elections,” an elated labour minister Danam Nagender said.
For the Congress, the victory did not come easy since it had to work hard to keep its own directors in good humour, taking care of their needs at camps, besides manipulating those from other parties.
In the elections to the presidents of the DCCBs and DCMSs on Tuesday, the party’s hard work paid off. Most of the directors were from the Congress and those from other parties had been won over. The end result was that the Congress has most of the DCCBs in the 22 districts.
What has come as a jarring development was that a Congress rebel candidate J Raghava Reddy won the election to the DCCB, defeating the official candidate D Madhava Reddy in Warangal. The chief minister is reportedly upset with the rebel candidate not only contesting but winning the election. But the result was deferred after Madhava Reddy accusing Raghava Reddy of having a criminal record.
More than the opposition parties, the Congress had to contend with one too many aspirants for the posts of presidents of the DCCBs. In Adilabad, two candidates were raring to contest but at the intervention of the chief minister, M Damodar Reddy supported by MLC Premsagara Rao was elected president of the DCCB while A Narayana Reddy supported by Nirmal MLA Maheswara Reddy won the chairman post of DCMS.
In Srikakulam, the party struck a deal between two candidates to share the position of the president for two and a half years each. In Visakhapatnam district too there was a problem of rebel candidate but he was declared disqualified in the last minute since he happened to be a member of a PAC that had defaulted in repayment of loans to the DCCB. “Results are an indication of what is in store for us in the local body elections,” one Congress leader said.