With Shivpal at helm, kin, friends tighten grip on cooperative sector
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The post of chairman comes with a minister-of-state rank along with a paraphernalia of red beacon vehicle etc. Huge sums are also at the disposal of the chairman as PACCFED is a construction agency. The federation has a post of chairman, vice-chairman and four of its directors are nominated for national-level cooperative organisations.
Already a panel of 13 directors for PACCFED have been elected on Monday. All of them owe allegiance to the ruling party and were elected unopposed. Cooperative Minister Shivpal Yadav personally monitored the election process. All the 13 candidates were called at his official residence — 7, Kalidas Marg. Later, they all proceeded together for filing their nomination papers and were declared elected unopposed. Among the elected directors there are two wards of SP legislators who are also in the reckoning for the post of chairmanship. The final call, however, again rests with Shivpal.
Himanshu Yadav, who is the son of Ashish Yadav, MLA from Shekhupur in Badaun, has also been elected as director of PACCFED. Himanshu's grandfather Banwari Yadav is MLC and close to SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav, thus staking his claim for the chairmanship.
Nashi Khan, daughter of Najeeba Khan Zeenat, MLA from Patiyali, Kasganj is also in the consideration for the post. She is the lone Muslim candidate among the directors and is close to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. Being a female Najeeba has an edge above all her competitors.
Rajkumar Agrawal, a former MLC has also been elected as director and is lobbying for the post. One Tota Ram Yadav is another candidate in the fray. Hailing from Mulayam's parliamentary constituency Mainpuri, Tota Ram is highlighting his proximity to the Yadav family, even as he is facing opposition from other Yadavs in Mainpuri. In the past, Tota Ram had lost District Development Council (DDC) election in Mainpuri and also fared badly when he contested for the chairmanship of Nagar Palika Parishad in Mainpuri. Due to his hoolinganism, Akhilesh had even snubbed him once. Recently the police had also detained him during the CM's visit to Mainpuri.
Recovering from the stigma of multi-crore NRHM scam, the Akhilesh Yadav government has already allotted projects worth several crores. PACCFED has been assigned to construct 28 health centers estimated to be worth
Rs 42 crore under the NRHM scheme. Another Rs 100 crore has been sanctioned for construction of godowns in several districts under cooperative department.
Earlier, the works were allotted to contractors without any tendering and were issued advance payment. Most of them did not complete the work on time. In the absence of any checks, the quality of work was bad. There was also siphoning of money. Babu Singh Kushwaha, who has since been arrested, was the co-operative minister. The CBI, which is investigating the NRHM scam on the order of the Allahabad High Court, has chargesheeted four officials of PACCFED, including then MD V K Choudhary, Superintendent Engineer A K Srivastava, Chief Engineer M M Tripathi and Assistant Engineer Vipul Gupta, besides Kushwaha.
Another Yadav kin likely to get top post
Cooperative minister Shivpal Yadav's son Ankur Yadav is likely to be elected as director of UP Cooperative Federation, commonly known as PCF. Ankur will submit his nomination on Wednesday and will also contest for the Chairman's post. PCF has 14 directors who elect chairman from among themselves. PCF is the oldest cooperative institution in the state which was set up in 1943 and presently has a turnover of over Rs 4,000 crore. Shivpal himself has already been elected as Chairman of UP Sahkari Gram Vikas Bank, commonly known as Land Development Bank (LDB). With Ankur's election, the Yadav family will strengthen its grip on cooperative sector in the state. ENS