Mumbai: Just a month after the Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis government came to power in the state, the leader of opposition in the legislative council Pravin Darekar is back as chairman of Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank. Former chairman and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Siddharth Kamble, who was elected in the elections held in January this year, resigned from the post two weeks ago to make way for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.
In the election held on Friday, Darekar was elected as the new chairman unopposed, while Kamble was elected vice chairman. The 20-member board of directors have members from all four major political parties.
Darekar, who had been in the eye of the storm over his membership in the board of directors as a representative of labourers society, had to keep out of the election of the chairman six months ago. He was disqualified by the cooperation department after over investigation that he had faked his status as a labourer, a requirement to be the representative of any labourer society.
Darekar had to fight the election from the urban bank quota to get elected as a director. The then ruling parties — Shiv Sena and NCP — ensured the defeat of Darekar.
Soon after Shinde-Fadnavis was sworn in on June 30, Siddharth Kamble offered to resign from the post in a meeting of directors two weeks ago.
“It was a unanimous decision taken by all directors. We keep political affiliation out of the organization when it comes to the interest of the bank. There was no pressure or politics in Kamble’s decision to resign. After we intimated the cooperation department, the election was scheduled for today and the chairman and his deputy were elected unopposed. Since Darekar was elected from the urban bank’s quota, his disqualification has nothing to do with his appointment,” said Shivaji Nalawade, one of the directors and an NCP leader.
After being elected, Darekar said, “The board of directors comprises leaders from all parties and we do not mix politics with cooperation. Some miscalculations had taken place during the January elections, but they have been rectified now by all my colleagues on the board of directors. With their help, the bank’s turnover has been taken to ₹10,000 crore. I am happy that Siddharth Kamble accepted our request to work with us as deputy chairman.”