Opposition LDF members staged a walkout from the Assembly on Thursday to protest against the dissolution of director boards of district cooperative banks using the Kerala Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Ordinance, 2012.

The LDF members staged the walkout after Cooperation Minister C.N. Balakrishnan rejected the Opposition charge that the government's action amounted to ‘butchery of cooperative democracy.' According to him, all that the government had done was to restore the status quo as it existed in 2002, but which was upset by the LDF government in 2007 through an ordinance.

However, E.P. Jayarajan (CPI-M), who raised the issue through a calling attention motion, alleged that the ordinance was issued only to take over control of the director boards of the district cooperative banks which were all under the control of the LDF. The government was indulging in misrepresentation of facts and allowing formation of ‘paper' cooperative organisations to gain majority in future elections.

Refuting his charges, Mr. Balakrishnan said the 2007 ordinance was intended to divest majority of societies their right to vote in the district cooperative bank director board elections. This was intended to wrest control of the DCBs. The ordinance issued by the present government was meant to restore the voting rights to both credit and non-credit societies and thereby strengthen the democratic foundations of the cooperative movement. The Kerala High Court too had upheld this stand of the government. There was, therefore, no basis for the Opposition charges, the Minister said.

However, Leader of the Opposition V.S. Achuthanandan said it was as clear as daylight that the Minister was trotting up flimsy arguments to the takeover of the 13 district cooperatives banks controlled by the LDF and the 14th one by the IUML. There was no question of the Opposition approving the government action, he said while announcing the walkout.

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