NCP-Congress Duo Stamps Authority Over Co-operatives

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Nationalist Congress Party head Sharad Pawar, who is under severe attack for allegedly safeguarding his party loyals involved in G-Secs scam, on Saturday maintained his supremacy over the stateís ailing cooperative sector with an unanimous election of his confidant and the chairman of Mumbai-based Mahanagar Cooperative Bank, Gulabrao Shelke, as the chairman of Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB).

Similarly, Mr Pawar also succeeded in continuing his partyís alliance with the Congress by offering the MSCBís vice chairman post to the chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukhís brother Diliprao Deshmukh. The unanimous election of Mr Shelke and Mr Deshmukh at MSCBís board meeting on Saturday deserves special significance, especially when the NCP, in particular, and the ruling Democratic Front government, in general, have been facing severe criticism from the opposition parties with regard to multi-crore securities scam and also providing guarantees to the cash strapped cooperatives against the stipulated norms.

On top of it, Mr Pawar has sent a signal to the Congress party led by Sonia Gandhi, whose leadership was challenged by the former on the basis of her foreign origin, that the NCP was not averse to continue its alliance both in the electoral politics as well as in the co-operative sector.

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