The election to the board of the Rs 2,000-crore Thane District Central Co-operative Bank, to be held on March 23, has become an occasion for political parties to show their strength.
The Congress (later in alliance with NCP) has been at the helm of affairs of the bank for the last 50 years. This time, to consolidate its position in the co-operative sector, the Shiv Sena is striving hard to dislodge the Congress-NCP from the bank board.
The bank, with branches all over Thane, has a turnover of more than Rs 2,500 crore and is the district's main bank.
R C Patil of the Congress, who later switched over to the NCP, was the bank's Chairman for several years before the post got into the hands of B K Patil, also a Congressman.
While the NCP has fielded its Thane unit chief and MLC Bunty Avhad for the board, the Shiv Sena has preferred Vijay Chowgule, the party's Navi Mumbai unit chief.
Four of the contestants have been elected unopposed to the board. There are as many as 353 candidates of various political parties, including the Communists, in the fray for the 30-member board.