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Dab of politics in bank polls
Cuttack Urban Cooperative Bank headquarters at Tinkonia Bagicha in Cuttack. Picture by Badrika Nath Das

Cuttack, Nov. 18: Election to the managing board of the Cuttack Urban Cooperative Bank (CUCB) took a political turn with the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) announcing its panel of candidates for the directors’ posts today.

CUCB is one of the state’s leading urban cooperative banks having deposits over Rs 475 crore and a working capital Rs 654 crore. The Reserve Bank of India has classified it as a grade-1 Bank.

After 13 years and in pursuance of a high court order, the election for the bank’s managing board, which constitutes of 15 directors, is scheduled to be held on November 28.

Around 58,000 shareholders are expected to vote for 12 directors as candidates for three of the posts had been elected uncontested.

“It’s official now. My party has fielded candidates for all the 12 posts of directors. And we are confident that all of them will come our way,” BJD leader and Cuttack (Barabati) MLA Debashis Samantaray told The Telegraph today.

BJD sources said the CUCB election had turned into “a matter of prestige” not just for Samantaray. The Cuttack (Choudwar) MLA Pravat Biswal is also working hard to ensure a BJD sweep.

The Naveen Patnaik government had been facing criticism for not conducting the elections which was last held in 1997.

Though norms prescribed holding of elections in four years, either an additional district magistrate or the district magistrate or registrar of cooperative societies had been authorised as the president since August 1999.

Politicians were also nominated as president for brief periods. The state government had through a special notification on January 8, 2010, nominated eight members for the managing board of the bank and appointed Rabi Narayan Dash, a retired IAS officer as president. Seven other members were nominated by another notification on May 12.

Petitions had been filed in the high court for judicial intervention for an elected managing board for CUCB and dissolution of the present board.

In July, the high court had directed the state government to complete the election process within three months while restraining the nominated managing board from taking any decision on policy matters of the bank.

After the last day of withdrawal of nominations on November 12, candidates for directors of three zones had been declared uncontested, leaving 81 candidates in the fray for directors for the rest 12 zones.

But the BJD Cuttack unit vice-president Ramchandra Behura made an official announcement of the party panel only today.

Though Congress and BJP are reportedly backing candidates in the run for post of directors for some of the zones, they have not made any official announcement on it.

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Bharat Matrimonial 21012010