CTMR wants Impcops to hold elections online

Thursday May 26, 2022 at 4:51 pm

As the election day is approaching for electing for the Chennai based Indian Medical Practitioners’Practitioners’ Cooperative Pharmacy and Stores Ltd (Impcops), a local Non-government organization (NGO) working in the field of traditional health systems has appealed to the Union Registrar of Cooperative Societies under the Union Ministry of Cooperation to direct the multi-state cooperative Society of Chennai to hold the election on online mode.

Impcops will hold polls on June 19 to elect 16 board of directors representing various parts of the country like Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and the Union Territories.

The non-government organization (NGO) named Centre for Traditional Medicines, and Research (CTMR) has informed the Union registrar that the virtual voting method is far more simple and convenient as far as the members are concerned from different states, including Delhi and union territories.

In an email sent to the central registrar, Dr. T T Narayan said online voting would help save a lot of money and time and improve the turnout. He is the Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research (CTMR) secretary. He claims that the members of different states need not come to Chennai to spend their money for travel and accommodation if the process is conducted online. Dr. Narayan argues that when everything is going digital, including similar election processes, why can’t a society’s election be conducted in virtual mode. Further, he stresses the need to amend the election rules of Impcops to conduct future polls online.

Along with the letter to the central registrar, the Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research (CTMR) has wanted Impcops to consider cost-reduction measures in all the activities, including the election process. He advised the Society to reduce various expenses during the election process held during the post-COVID-19 pandemic. According to him, choosing the online mode of voting will increase voter turnout so that all members can exercise their franchise.

The election for the board of directors of Impcops is held every five years. The Society currently has over 15,000 registered members, but nearly 5,000 members are not alive now. The active members’ list contains only 10,000 to 11,000 people; out of these, only about 1,500 or less than 2,000 members are expected to come to Impcops in Chennai to cast their votes in the election. He said this way of conducting the board elections could not be recognized as free and fair as only 10 or 11 percent of the total voters participated in the entire exercise. The majority of these members are not participating in the election process. If the voting is arranged in a virtual mode, one can achieve a hundred percent turnouts. All doctors and members are using smartphones and the internet these days.

Pointing out some other areas of malpractice and corruption in the election process, the Siddha expert asked for mobilizing voters’ support. Each panel will bring members from different places to Chennai and accommodate them in hotels by spending a lot of money. No member is likely to turn up voluntarily or spend money from their pocket. Each panel will bring only a maximum of 1,200 or 1,300 people, as more than that they cannot afford. That is what is happening in every single election. The majority is not taking part in the franchise.

When asked whether the Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research (CTMR) is fielding any candidate or supporting any panel, Dr. TTN said it had not taken a decision, but there are chances. He said a panel led by Dr. Muruga Ganapathi in Salem is contesting. The Centre for Traditional Medicines and Research (CTMR) is associated with all medical professionals irrespective of any politics.