Tension at Kovvuru urban bank as elected body dissolved

The election notification for the cooperative bank had been issued on June 18 and withdrawal of nominations completed on July 25

Kakinada: Tension prevailed at Kovvuru Cooperative Urban Bank in East Godavari district on Friday after the district cooperative department officials declared invalid election of office bearers of the urban bank and appointed a three-member committee of officials to look after the day-to-day activities of the bank.

The election notification for the cooperative bank had been issued on June 18 and withdrawal of nominations completed on July 25. All the 11 directors of the bank, belonging to the Telugu Desam Party, got elected unanimously and one of them, Maddipatla Siva Ramakrishna became chairman of the bank.

The unanimous election damaged the reputation of home minister T. Vanitha and a YSRC leader K. Ramesh went on to allege that Vanitha had actually helped TD leaders get elected unanimously. Ramesh also approached the court challenging the election.

This led to district cooperative department inquiring into the election process and declaring the election as not legally valid. The officials stated that as per the election notification, withdrawals of nomination should have been on July 25. If there is a contest, counting should be on July 31 and results declared the same day. Election of officer bearers from among the directors should be on August 2.

Department officials nullified the election on grounds that the executive body had been declared elected on July 26 and also sworn-in the same day, without making amendments to bye-laws in consonance with provision under section 31 (2) of the Cooperative Act.

After nullification of the election, the cooperative department appointed a three-member official committee to run the bank with Immani Veera Sankaram as chairman and Gadi Vijayaraju Kumar and Bathi Nagaraju as directors. Cooperatives officer K. Subba Rao issued appointment letters to these officials under Section 43 of the Cooperative Act 1963.

Meanwhile, the controversial bank chairman Siva Ramakrishna condemned appointment of the new committee calling it undemocratic and not legally valid.

There were a large number of security officials deployed at the bank. Police did not allow the elected body of Telugu Desam members into the bank. In all, 19 TD leaders, including the elected executive members of the bank, were taken into custody. They were released towards Friday evening.

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