Press Trust of india

States must ‘rebuff’ centre’s attempts to centralise power through multi-state cooperative society route: CPIM

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New Delhi: The CPIM has called on state governments to come together to “rebuff” the centre’s attempts to centralise administration and power through the multi-state cooperative society route.

The latest editorial of the party mouthpiece People’s Democracy has alleged that one of the ways in which the Narendra Modi government attempted to violate the constitutional powers of the states was by forming a ministry of cooperation.

The party stated that after the Supreme Court ruled in October 2022 that the 97th amendment would not be applicable to local cooperative societies but only multi-state cooperative societies, the government decided to use the multi-state cooperative society route to intervene in the states.

“The proposed 2022 Bill is a dangerous legislation. It is a blatant attempt to thrust the decisions of the central government on to cooperatives societies functioning under state laws…

“All these amendments are explicitly intended to insert multi-state cooperative societies into the cooperative structures of states. This will allow the central government to strain and strangle local cooperatives and take control of the whole cooperative structure in states through penal actions, mergers, board takeovers, and interventions in elections,” the party said.

It also raised the issue of how under the central government’s directions, AMUL is either joining hands, or being merged, with five local cooperatives to form a multi-state cooperative society.

“This society would be engaged in certification of products of ‘natural farming’ and export of milk. Such politically motivated steps will only weaken state-level dairy cooperatives as well as a professionally run cooperative like AMUL,” it alleged.

The editorial also alleged that the government was infusing funds into defunct multi-state cooperative societies based in Gujarat and Maharashtra and sending them to establish new bases in faraway states like Kerala.

“The intent is to weaken the operations of local cooperative societies in Kerala, takeover their business, and expand the political capital of BJP in the state. The very spirit of cooperation in India is premised on regional diversity. Neoliberal policies in the banking sector have already pushed cooperative societies in states into a crisis.

“With centralisation, as attempted in the proposed 2022 Bill, the objective appears to be to undermine and destroy them. States must join hands – both politically and legally – to rebuff this unconstitutional step,” it said.

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