Kerala: Investors of co-op society stage protest at ex-MLA’s residence
These investors claimed that Sivakumar had encouraged them to deposit their earnings, as he had inaugurated the cooperative society in 2002.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Several investors from the Thiruvananthapuram District Unemployed Social Welfare Cooperative Society staged a protest at the home of former Congress MLA V S Sivakumar in Sasthamangalam. They were protesting against the non-payment of their deposits, totalling `13 crores, to more than 350 people. These investors claimed that Sivakumar had encouraged them to deposit their earnings, as he had inaugurated the cooperative society in 2002.
This controversy comes at a time when the CPM leadership has been shaken by the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank scam, and it has left the Congress camp embarrassed. The cooperative registrar had recently reported that out of 272 cooperative societies, 202, ruled by the UDF, had come under scrutiny. Frustrated by repeated false claims by the cooperative society regarding the repayment of their deposits, depositors from Vellayani, Killipalam, and Valiyathura decided to protest. Over 350 depositors are collectively owed Rs 13 crore by the society, which they allege is managed by Sivakumar’s benami, Santhivila M Rajendran.
One female depositor from Vellayani expressed her distress, saying that she had deposited Rs 5.50 lakh in the cooperative society at Sivakumar’s urging.
”I didn’t have the slightest doubt. Now, my daughter’s wedding is scheduled for November. My family can proceed with her marriage only if I receive the money from the cooperative society,” said the woman.+
Another investor, P Madhusoodanan Nair from Santhivila, who had worked in the Middle East for 24 years to earn his savings, invested Rs 10 lakh in the cooperative society. He explained that the society had been in turmoil since the 2021 Assembly elections. In recent weeks, as investors attempted to withdraw their funds, they discovered that their money was missing.
“We met Congress state president K Sudhakaran at Indira Bhavan on Wednesday. On Sunday, Sivakumar asked for time until October 5th,” said Madhuso-odanan.
Meanwhile, Sivakumar denied the investors’ claims and told reporters that this was an attempt to tarnish his image. He stated that he had not encouraged depositors to invest in the cooperative society.
“It was a DCC member who served as the president of the society. I attended the inauguration as a party office bearer in the presence of my colleagues. Apart from that, I have no involvement with the cooperative society,” clarified Sivakumar.
Satheesan demands package for victims of various coop bank scams
T’Puram: While the LDF government is trying to come out with a package to help the victims of Karuvannur bank scam, Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan said the plan should be aimed at all beneficiaries who had lost their money in various cooperative bank scams. The LDF government and the CPM leadership are planning a revival package for Karuvannur with the help of the primary cooperative banks.
“The UDF would welcome the stand provided they give preference to the interests of the beneficiaries who had lost their deposits. However, the ploy of the CPM is to ensure a safe exit to those who cheated the depositors,” he alleged. Satheesan said besides Karuvannur, scores of people have lost their money in cooperative banks in Kandala and Muttathara in Thiruvananthapuram and also Ayyanthol in Thrissur. Meanwhile, the leader of opposition vehemently denied the cooperative registrar’s report that they found discrepancies in 272 cooperative banks ruled by the UDF.