THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The provision to omit the clause in the Kerala Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Ordinance 2017 of April which says five types of societies - including Primary Agricultural Credit Societies (PACS) - should conduct elections at the ward-level is cited as a move to manipulate the polls to the board of directors.
Cooperative Department officers said it would have far-reaching consequences with chances of manipulating elections. In case a particular party in power is not strong enough to contest the poll at the ward-level, it can tide over the difficulty by changing the demarcation of the particular ward to suit them well, they said.
However, Registrar of Cooperatives S Lalithambika told Express there was a consensus among parties of both fronts in omitting the provisions. “Both the LDF and the UDF had arrived at a consensus on omitting the provision on conducting ward-level elections. They had cited certain difficulties in conducting such polls,” she said.
The ordinance also raises the representation of PACS from one to two for each taluk in the District Cooperative Banks (DCBs). The provision to provide four seats for other societies in the DCBs has been omitted.
The major amendment is the substitution of the clause ‘a DCB or Central Society with jurisdiction over one revenue district will have only PACS and Urban Cooperative Banks as its members.’ As per the amendment, a DCB may admit any cooperative society registered under the provisions of this act as nominal or associate members.
No member of a society shall be eligible to hold office as president or vice-president for more than two consecutive terms. Another amendment says those societies not accepting financial assistance from the Kerala Cooperative Development and Welfare Fund Board (KCDWFB), Deposit Guarantee Scheme and the Risk Fund Scheme of the KCDWFB, Nabard, and any other financial institution under the state or Centre cannot be dissolved.