Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Leader of the Opposition in the State Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah on Thursday criticised the decision of the State Government of superseding the Bijapur District Cooperative Bank which, he said, had been rated as one of the well-run cooperative institutions in the country.

The bank had been making profits and declaring six per cent dividend to shareholders.

The management of the bank was issued a notice by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies on August 24. Despite the reply by the directors of the bank, the State Government in an order issued on September 22 superseded the bank and appointed the Deputy Commissioner of Bijapur district as its administrator.

‘Political decision’

Mr. Siddaramaiah said this was done because the bank was being managed by Congress leader Shivananda Patil. “It is a political decision and there are no complaints of irregularities, mismanagement or corruption against the bank. Mr. Patil has been the bank president for 20 years. He recently took over as president of the Gnana Yogi Cooperative Sugar factory in Bijapur after the unit, run by the former Bharatiya Janata Party MP Basavaraj Yatnal, ran into serious financial problems. Mr. Siddaramaiah said while the Government had been “unnecessarily harsh” on cooperative institutions managed by Congress leaders, it was “conveniently overlooking” the malpractices and misappropriation of funds in the institutions run by BJP leaders.

The Congress would stage a dharna in front of the Vidhana Soudha on Saturday to register its protest against the State Government, he added.