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SITA divided over electing new President

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DQC News Bureau
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The South Gujarat IT Association (SITA) seems to be headed for a split, with

the emergence of two factions within the association, especially amongst its

council members. SITA was ranked number three in the third DQ Channels IDC

Annual Association 2007, which underlines its prominent stature in the national

channel community.

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Certain executive council members of the association are unhappy with the

recent developments within the association, and it reached the boiling point

during the selection of the next president.

The annual general meeting (AGM) that was scheduled before June 30 is slated

to announce the new President for SITA. But before the official announcement,

the executive council gathered to discuss who the next presidential candidate

ought to be. While some felt that it should be Ketan Patel who is currently the

Treasurer, others rooted for veteran members like Kaushal Choksi, the existing

VP or Chetan Desai, current Secretary.

Traditionally it is the VP or the General Secretary who gradually step into

the shoes of the President. But SITA decided to opt for a different route.

Bharat Randheri, outgoing President said, “The President of the association has

always recommend the next President. But this time we decided to give the right

to the committee. And therefore whoever is selected, would be accepted as the

new President.”

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He added that the reason for this departure from the traditional style of

selecting the President was to make the process more democratic. He stated, “A

majority of the committee voted in favor of Patel and he will be the next

President.”

“The President of the

association has always recommend the next President. But this time we

decided to give the right to the committee. And therefore whoever



is selected, would be accepted”


Bharat Randheri, President, Sita

This is precisely where things came to acrimony within the association. Other

senior members are not happy with this decision and are gearing to take up the

matter at the meeting. The Presidents Council, that consist of all the past

Presidents is planning to take action and take over the management of SITA, if

market sources are to be believed.

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More issues crop up

Far from getting better, the issue has led to another issue. To begin with,

an ex-president of SITA invoked the right to information (RTI) act and found

that Randheri, who had claimed that he is the owner of Wintronics, was not the

owner. Rather the company was registered under the name of his wife-Anita.

“SITA's bye-laws stipulate that only the owners of a channel company can be its

members. This shows that Randheri, who furnished forged documents from a bank

stating he was the owner, had gained entry into SITA through fraudulent means.

This itself makes his presidential tenure void. Hence, any decisions taken by

him are void,” the Ex-President claimed.

Coming back to the selection of the current presidential candidate. A source

claimed that when Patel's name was suggested, several members of the executive

council felt that the other senior members of the council were being bypassed in

his favor. It was learnt that of the 22 members present, 14 voiced their

displeasure and lack of support.

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When it came to light that Randheri had given incorrect information while

joining SITA, a written communication was sent to him asking him to step back.

It is also learnt that he might not be given the tag of a past President and all

the decisions taken during his tenure would be reconsidered.

When Randheri was contacted to get his feedback about the above issues, he

refrained from commenting, stating that this was an internal matter, which was

being worked out. Other executive council members including Choksi also refused

to comment on this, saying that things would be worked out by the time the next

AGM was held later this week, however he didn't refute the controversy.

Patel, who has been a SITA member for six years now and is the selected

President of the association said, “The selection has been very transparent and

is strictly in line with the rules. There have been instances in the past where

the treasurer has been elected as the President. The committee that selected the

President wanted a change. Out of a 22-member committee, 15 members voted for

me. The selection procedure was absolutely in line with rules of the

association.”

He admitted that there has been a slight controversy in the selection process

and there were difference of opinion with few members in the association. “I

strongly believe that this issue will be sorted out amicably. We have urged the

senior members to co-operate with us as without their support it will be

difficult to work as a team,” he shared.

SNIGDHA KARJATKAR

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