Call for Elections in Gujarat’s Sugar Co-operative Societies Gains Momentum
Gujarat High Court has taken a stand against the government's move to include all sugar co-operative societies under the definition of "Primary Co-operative Societies." As a result, these co-operatives now automatically fall under the category of specified co-operative societies.
Surat : The democratic functioning of sugar co-operative societies in the State of Gujarat has come under scrutiny, as administrators allegedly bypass elections and arbitrarily elect office-bearers.
The situation has prompted a call for action from Darshan Naik, director of Sayan Sugar Factory and GPCC general secretary, who has written a letter to the Director of Sugar Co-operatives in Gujarat, demanding elections for the crucial positions of president and vice-president in all sugar co-operative societies across the state.
Historically, all sugar co-operative societies in Gujarat have been elected in accordance with the Gujarat Co-operative Society Act 1961 and the Gujarat Co-operative Society Rules 1965. These laws stipulate that the office-bearers, including the president and vice-president, serve a first term of 2.5 years from the date of the organization’s election and then a second term of another 2.5 years.
However, a matter of concern has arisen as the first term (2.5 years) of the incumbents in all co-operative sugar societies in Gujarat has expired, and the much-anticipated elections for the second term have not been conducted. Instead, administrators are alleged to have chosen to fill the positions arbitrarily, leading to questions about the democratic process.
Darshan Naik’s plea to the Director of Sugar Co-operatives seeks to restore the essence of democracy within these societies and uphold the rights of members to elect their leaders. Co-operative societies play a vital role in the lives of farmers and stakeholders, and transparent elections are crucial for ensuring that their interests are adequately represented.
Adding further weight to the demand for elections, the Gujarat High Court has taken a stand against the government’s move to include all sugar co-operative societies under the definition of “Primary Co-operative Societies.” As a result, these co-operatives now automatically fall under the category of specified co-operative societies. Consequently, an individual may hold membership in multiple co-operative societies, reinforcing the need for free and fair elections in sugar co-operatives.
The absence of elected office-bearers not only raises questions about the functioning and accountability of these societies but also impacts the overall development and progress of the sugar sector in Gujarat. The call for elections aims to preserve the democratic ethos that forms the backbone of co-operative movements and protect the interests of its members.