The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has managed to get a foothold in the cooperative banking sector, where the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had a stronghold.
On Tuesday, MNS legislator Pravin Darekar, was elected as the chairman of the Mumbai District Central Co-operative Bank. Widely known as Mumbai Bank, it is one of India's biggest cooperative banks with deposits of over Rs 2,500 crore . The bank has 46 branches in the city.
The bank, until now, was mostly controlled by members of the Congress or the NCP. One of the panels was formed by NCP leaders Shivrajirao Nalwade, Siddharth Kamble and Darekar. Although the rival panel was led by bank's former chairman Gulabrao Shelke, Darekar and Nitin Bankar were elected unopposed.
"We took members from different parties together. I am happy with the election. This will encourage my young colleagues in MNS to work in cooperative sector," said Darekar.
"The MNS was part of our panel which had blessings of our party leaders as well as MNS Chief Raj Thackeray,"said Nitin Bankar, who was elected as vice-chairman. Bankar is a youth leader from the NCP.
In Maharashtra, the cooperative banking, milk and sugar sectors are controlled by the Congress and the NCP.
The two parties wield their clout from the strong network of cooperatives.
This is the first time an MNS legislator has bagged a strong position in a cooperative institution.