Mumbai: The BJP-led Maharashtra government has barred former directors of Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank, who were superseded by the RBI for alleged financial irregularities, from contesting the bank elections for ten years.

The decision, announced by Cooperation Minister Chandrakant Patil, has drawn criticism from the opposition which said it violated provisions of the Cooperatives Act. RBI, in 2011, had superseded the board of directors of the MSC Bank and appointed administrators.

"There was a corruption of Rs 450 crore. RBI had to supersede the board. I want to ask the opposition: should we allow those who indulged in such corruption to become the bank directors again?" the minister said here today.

"This is a decision taken on merit," Patil, a BJP leader who hails from Kolhapur district, said. "The RBI's logic was that how will the bank be able to recover its money if those who indulged in corruption become directors again," the minister said.

Patil had, during the winter session of state legislature, announced that action will be taken against former directors of MSC Bank including the former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and his fellow NCP leader Jayant Patil for alleged involvement in a multi-crore scam.

The procedure to fix responsibility for recovery of amount will be completed before May 22, 2016, Patil had said. BJP legislator Anil Gote had demanded to know what action will be taken against directors involved in corruption.