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Surat Textile Traders Protest as Federation Fails to Conduct Elections for a Decade | Loktej Business, Surat News

Surat’s global textile industry is currently in turmoil as traders express mounting frustration over the Federation of Surat Textile Traders Association (FOSTA)’s failure to hold elections for the last ten years. This unprecedented delay has sparked protests among the association’s directors and incited a wave of discontent among the business community against the current president’s inaction. Consequently, discussions regarding the city’s textile market have been ignited across Surat.

Today, the FOSTA office was surrounded by disgruntled traders expressing their ire. The lack of elections over the past decade has stalled several critical processes, including meetings of former directors. This inaction has hampered the industry’s ability to effectively communicate their concerns to the government. Although an election committee has been appointed by FOSTA, its failure to make a prompt decision has escalated protests, with textile traders demanding immediate elections.

The current president, Manoj Agarwal, has been in the position for many years, and his leadership is facing increasing scrutiny. Despite Surat’s textile industry comprising thousands of traders, the organizational structure appears weak. Traders are comparing the absence of democratic elections to a dictatorship, with the presidency held by a single person for several years. This has caused factionalism among traders, who blame FOSTA’s inaction for dividing Surat’s textile industry into disparate unions.

In a notable demonstration of protest, Kailash Hakim, a prominent businessman in the textile industry, staged a sit-in at the J.J. Market today. Despite initial resistance, Hakim, accompanied by his supporters, was removed by the police and escorted to the police station. In a symbolic act of dissent, Hakim locked the FOSTA office in the presence of his supporters.

Hakim advocated for a democratic approach, expressing disappointment over the absence of FOSTA officers during his protest and their unavailability over the phone. Hakim said, “We demand that FOSTA function democratically. It’s unacceptable for such a large organization to operate without elections, with decisions made solely by office bearers.” He further questioned whether these decisions truly served the interests of the traders. Hakim vowed to continue voicing his dissent until elections are held, symbolizing a growing call for change in Surat’s textile market.

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