19 candidates file nomination papers for DCC Bank polls

Member of the Legislative Assembly and KMF chairman Balachandra Jarkiholi speaking at a joint press conference by senior BJP leaders in Belagavi on Thursday.  

As many as 19 candidates filed their nomination papers for the 16 posts of directors of the District Central Cooperative Bank in Belagavi on Thursday, sending out a message that the elections will not be unanimous.

Thursday was the last date for filing nomination papers. Friday will see scrutiny of nomination papers and Saturday is the last date for withdrawal of nomination papers. Polling is scheduled for November 6.

BJP leaders, on the other hand, held a joint press conference saying that they were working towards a consensus to avoid voting on polling day. They also hinted that they were trying to allow the former MP Ramesh Katti to have his fifth term as bank chairman. S.G. Dhavaleshwar, a representative of the industries sector, is likely to continue as the bank vice-chairman.

The 16-member bank has 10 geographical constituencies and six sectoral constituencies, including urban banks, silk and wool farmers, Karnataka Milk Federation and industries.

The Returning Officer received one set of nomination paper each from seven of the 10 taluks. Just one candidate filed nomination papers from the six sectoral constituencies.

The three taluks that received multiple nomination papers are Khanapur, Ramdurg and Bailhongal.

First-time MLA Anjali Nimbalkar is challenging former MLA and MES leader from Khanapur Arvind Patil.

She told journalists that she met Mr. Ramesh Katti seeking his advice six months ago when she began planning for the elections. “I am here to help farmers and the rural poor. I have built a cooperative organisation that has active workers of Congress, BJP and MES,” she said. She insisted that no one had approached her for a consensus and ruled out withdrawing from the race. She said that she had begun preparations for voting on November 6.

BJP leaders, however, say that efforts will be made to convince the additional candidates to withdraw from the race on Saturday. They are banking on BJP MLA Balachandra Jarkiholi to request his brother and Congress leader Satish Jarkiholi to convince Dr. Nimbalkar to withdraw from the race. They don’t see a problem in urging the additional candidates from Bailhongal and Ramdurg to quit.

Despite repeated declarations by senior leaders that the DCC Bank polls are non-political, elections to the biggest lender in the district continue to have significant political implications.

Nomination papers are not filed on behalf of political parties and parties don’t issue ticket. But parties routinely back candidates who enter the fray.

Five years ago, the BJP camp was divided when the Katti brothers convinced the government nominee to side with them, to defeat Laxman Savadi (now Deputy Chief Minister) in the race to the chairmanship.

This time, the BJP has put in efforts to save such an embarrassment. RSS leader Arvind Rao Deshpande and leaders of the Sahakara Bharati, an affiliate of the Sangh Parivar, held two rounds of meetings with BJP leaders in Belagavi. Union Minister Prahald Joshi and BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel held meetings in Hubballi and Belagavi to iron out differences between the groups owing allegiance to different leaders.

Even on Thursday, BJP leaders held a closed door meeting in the DCC Bank office to work out modalities. Those in the know say that it was agreed that Mr. Laxman Savadi would be sent to Bengaluru as the DCC Bank representative to vote in the State-level polls to the Apex Bank.

MLA and Congress leader Ganesh Hukkeri, who had spoken of fighting the DCC Bank polls, did not submit his nomination papers on Thursday. This cleared the way for bank director Anna Saheb Jolle to get elected unopposed.

Shivanand Doni, a loyalist of the Jarkiholi family, is the lone contestant from Gokak. Deputy Speaker Vishwanath Mamani, Mr. Ramesh Katti, Rajendra Ankalagi and Mr. Savadi are the other important candidates. In the joint press conference, the BJP leaders said that they were all united and believed that all were equal in the party. They vowed to stay united for the next 20 years and work for the district and its poor.

They said that they planned to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to inaugurate the bank’s new building in a few months.

Balachandra Jarkiholi, who is also KMF chairman and who did most of the talking, said that Karnataka was set to witness a cooperative revolution and that it was about to begin from Belagavi.

The former Minister Umesh Katti said that the bank had saved funds in the estimated cost for construction as it completed work earlier than expected.

Rajya Sabha member Eeranna Kadadi, MLC Mahantesh Kavatagimath, Mr. Savadi, Minister for Women and Child Welfare Shashikala Jolle, Mr. Jolle, Mr. Mamani, MLA and director Mahantesh Dodagoudar and other leaders were present in the press conference.

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Printable version | Dec 4, 2020 11:01:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/19-candidates-file-nomination-papers-for-dcc-bank-polls/article32975408.ece

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