A-Class membership to non-credit societies the bone of contention

A special general body meeting of the members of the District Co-operative Bank here on Friday called for amending the bylaw was marred by protest staged by those opposing the amendments.

The meeting held at the District Co-operative Bank Auditorium for amending the bylaw as per the amended Kerala Co-operative Societies Act witnessed commotion as a section of members, owing allegiance to the Left Democratic Front (LDF), staged protests against some of the amendments. The amendments introduced at the meeting included A-Class membership with voting rights to all co-operative societies, including non-credit societies, and increase in the number of director board members from 16 to 21, among others.

Trouble began immediately after the meeting began in the morning. When the Administrator of the bank urged the members present at the meeting to elect a president to chair the meeting, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader M. Prakashan proposed the name of P. Hareendran, the former president of the bank as the chair, and a group of members present at the meeting backed it.

According to the LDF members, the commotion started when Congress leader M. Narayanankutty entered the dais and chaired the meeting. The LDF members staged the protest when the chair announced that all the amendments were passed.

A major issue of contention at the meeting was the amendment that allowed membership to non-credit co-operative societies in the district co-operative bank with full voting rights. CPI(M) leader M.V. Jayarajan, who led the protest, told The Hindu that the chair was decided by officials in violation of all rules of procedures concerning the holding of such meetings.

A parallel meeting chaired by Mr. Hareendran adopted the amendment increasing the number of director board members and rejected the amendment to give A Class membership to non-credit societies, Mr. Jayarajan said. He said that the amendment proposed to include non-credit societies would lead to issuing A-Class membership to 191 non-credit societies that had already been liquidated. As many as 31 non-credit societies controlled by the LDF were not included, he alleged.

A press release issued by the Congress-led Sahakarana Janadhipathya Vedi here said that all the amendments were unanimously approved by the special general body meeting. It alleged that the CPI(M) attempted to disrupt the meeting. In the meeting attended by 1,000 people, the “anti-democratic” move by a few members did not succeed, it said.

The propaganda against the meeting held to amend the bylaw was to mask the embarrassment following the endorsement of the government-proposed amendments by the High Court and the support for the amendments by the majority of those attended at the meeting.

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