In Kerala, LDF wrests Meenachil, Thiruvalla cooperative banks from UDF
Left coalition’s victory comes amidst a turf war within the Kerala Congress (M)
Amidst a turf war within the Kerala Congress (M) among its former allies in Central Travancore, the faction led by Jose K. Mani has received a major shot in the arm by wresting control of the Pala-based Meenachil Cooperative Agricultural & Rural Development Bank from the rival camp.
In an election for the 13 seats in the bank’s governing council held on Sunday, the party won 10 seats, while the CPI(M), its key ally in the Left Democratic Front (LDF), secured two seats. The lone remaining seat went to the CPI, also a constituent of the LDF.
The election to the council, where the United Democratic Front (UDF) had held sway for 28 years till November last year, was necessitated by the KC(M)’s shift to the Left coalition. Of the 13 members in the previous governing council, which had assumed charge in February 2019, seven who owed allegiance to the KC(M) resigned en masse from their posts in November last year. The shock move, initiated as a mark of protest against a decision by the bank’s president and party leader E.J. Augusthy to join the P.J. Joseph faction of the KC(M), put the bank under an administrative committee’s rule. The bank, established in 1965, has 10,366 shareholders.
The LDF also romped home in a keenly fought election to the administrative council of the Thiruvalla East Cooperative Bank. Each of the 13 candidates fielded by the Left front won by a margin of over 1,000 votes in an election in which only 8,094 out of the 58,440 eligible voters exercised their franchise.
The election, held across 30 booths in 12 panchayats under tight police security on Sunday, had seen the LDF and the UDF locking horns in a direct battle. The bank had been under the control of the UDF for the past 15 years.