The State government has constituted Tamil Nadu State Co-operative Societies Election Commission to conduct polls to co-operative bodies in a free and fair manner.

The new body would also have the powers of superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of electoral rolls for the elections. It would consist of a State Co-operative Societies Election Commissioner.

A person who is or has been an officer not below the rank of Secretary to the State government would be made the Election Commissioner. This would be for a term of five years or till the officer completed the age of 65 years.

An ordinance was promulgated last week to amend the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Societies Act, 1983.

West Bengal has a similar body, it is learnt.

Five years ago, after violence marred the polls of cooperative bodies during the previous Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime, an announcement was made that action would be taken for the formation of a separate Election Commission.

A couple of months ago, the State government, drawing authority from the 97 Constitution Amendment, promulgated an ordinance to facilitate admission of members to cooperative societies, overcoming a 11-year bar on fresh inclusion. Under the 97th Constitution Amendment that came into force from January 12 this year, the States can make appropriate laws on a host of matters.

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