A brief account of visit to an informal gathering of cooperative leaders in Patna
“He is an avatar of Tapeshwar Babu and conducts the cooperative affairs of the state much like him”, said septuagenarian cooperative leader Rahguvansh Narayan Singh Chairman of Land Development Cooperative Bank.
Sitting in an informal dress and thronged by cooperative leaders from across the state at his residential office in Patna, Biscomaun Chairman Sunil Singh was busy solving their problems and was making faint attempt to keep the movement alive.
Cooperative movement in Bihar has fallen hostage in the hands of the government. The Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies (PACS), on which Nitish govt boasts no end, are acting like one of the agencies of the govt.
PACS are primarily used as a means of procurement and distribution of agri products with little proactive action from the local cooperative leaders thereby defeating the very spirit of cooperative which hinges primarily on peoples’ initiatives.
“Sunil Babu, our vigilance commissioner has grown so autocratic that he has begun to dictate terms to the Board”, said one of the leaders in the informal gathering. “Our Managing Director hardly bothers for the opinion of the elected board”, said another victim of govt high-handedness.
The sight of about 20 cooperators sitting informally and sharing their problems was indeed encouraging. When this correspondent asked them the purpose of their visit to this place , one of the leaders Gopal Giri, Chairman of Tapandu Urban Cooperative Bank said “ It’s a meeting point for us where we try to solve problems plaguing the cooperative movement.
Ramesh Chand Choubey, Chairman of Bihar State Cooperative Bank said “cooperators assemble here to deliberate on the progress of the cooperative movement in the state”. Ramkalevar Prasad Singh, Chairman State Consumer Cooperative Federation said “ Sunil Babu is seized with problems affecting cooperative from morning to evening and we come here to seek his guidance. Narendra Kumar Sharma from Jahanabad and Rambishun Singh Yadav echoed similar feelings.
Readers could recall that the State govt is not allowing the duly elected board of Biscomaun to operate. Indian Cooperative has gathered that there is a political pressure on Sunil Singh to switch sides to JDU. He is held as close to Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Keeping the movement alive in a hostile atmosphere is no mean job and the huddled crowds at the residential office of Biscomaun Chairman inspired hope that all is not over yet.