Primary Agricultural Corporative Societies polls: Political parties strategising to win unanimously
The officials and political parties are getting ready for elections to Primary Agricultural Corporative Societies (PACS) to be held on February 15....
Khammam: The officials and political parties are getting ready for elections to Primary Agricultural Corporative Societies (PACS) to be held on February 15. The nomination process has begun and the officials concerned are busy making the arrangements for the smooth conduct of polls.
According to officials, Khammam has 76 societies with 1.53 lakh voters and Bhadradri-Kothagudem has 21 cooperative societies with 60,191 voters. This would be the first time the elections to be held to PACS after the formation of separate State. The last elections to PACS were held in January 2013, and the tenure of the society's bodies ended in January 2018.
Meanwhile, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi which is upbeat after winning the recent municipal polls in erstwhile Khammam, wants to continue its winning spree in the upcoming polls to PACS. The local MLAs and senior leaders of the party are organising meetings with the society members and party cadre to chalk out plans to win the elections.
It can be noted here that at many places, the ruling party leaders are trying to win the PACS unanimously by persuading the members of the societies who are intending to contest the polls. In erstwhile Khammam district, already chairpersons for three societies were elected unanimously. While TRS was able to get Aswapuram, Mutapuram PACS in Nelakondapalli mandal went to CPI and Congress could exercise its power in Dhammapet society.
While 72 nominations were filed in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district on Thursday, 106 nominations were filed in Khammam district.
Bhadrachalam PACS under huge debts
The Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society, Bhadrachalam is the smallest cooperative society in the State with a huge debt. According to sources, though the society has 1,450 members, only 40 are eligible to vote. This is because, as per the provisions of the TCS Act, 1964 the members are eligible to vote only when they possess land, are debt-free and are not the defaulters. The society's strength that once had 16,000 members spread over 71 villages has been reduced to 1,450 after the merger of villages in seven mandals into Andhra Pradesh, as they fall under Polavaram project submergence area.
Unlike other societies, the filing of nominations, their withdrawal, scrutiny and election would take place on a single day on February 15. Those contesting will be elected without any opposition as for each director post only three votes are needed. Since there are 13 director posts, if a contesting person is proposed by another member, he would get elected. And of the 13 director posts, one is reserved for ST community and there is no person from the community to contest here, said manager of the society B Rambabu.
According to Rambabu, the election will take place as per the Rule-22 of Telangana Cooperative Societies (TCS) Act, 1964. The process of election will be by show of hands. Further, the president of the society cannot vote in the election to District Cooperative Central Bank (DCCB) director post. It is because, the society as a whole declared defaulter as it has to pay nearly Rs 2.5 crore to bank.
An amount of Rs 7 crore has to be paid by the members to the society and the society is not in a position to collect the dues and pay the same to the bank as majority of the members are now in Andhra Pradesh, Ram Babu informed, adding that some technical reasons were preventing the society from collecting the dues from the members.
The only sources of income to the society is its office building where a part of which is rented to earn Rs 62,000 per month. Steps to merge Bhadrachalam PACS with neighbouring societies to streamline its affairs failed as members of other societies opposed the proposal owing to huge value of its debt.