Union Home Affairs Minister Amit Shah’s statement pushing for cooperation between the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) and the Anand Milk Union Limited (Amul) in Gujarat has become a topic of hot debate in Karnataka.
Netizens expressed concerns over a “possible merger” of the two dairy cooperatives as Shah spoke of cooperation between the two.
Shah inaugurated a mega dairy project built at a cost of ₹260 crore by the Mandya District Cooperative Milk Producers Associations Federation at Gejjalagere in Mandya on Friday, 30 December.
Addressing a gathering, Shah said: “Amul and KMF together will work together towards ensuring there is a primary dairy in every village of Karnataka. KMF will get all the technical support and cooperation from Amul, which is a Gujarat state cooperative society. If Karnataka and Gujarat work together, it will benefit the farmers all over the country.”
He added: “Karnataka is among the states where cooperative dairy is functioning exceptionally well. There are 15,120 village-level cooperative dairies and 26,22,000 farmers who supply milk in the state. In the last 47 years (1975 to 2022), Karnataka has made good progress in the dairy sector.”
Shah further said: “Around 66,000 kilolitress of milk used to get processed in 1975. Now, over 82 lakh kilolitres of milk are processed every day in the state. The turnover has increased from ₹4 crore to ₹25,000 crore in the same period.”
He also said: “The major share of the turnover is going directly to the farmers. Amul and KMF have to work together to boost the cooperative dairy in Karnataka.”
Netizens raise concerns
After Shah pushed for cooperation between Amul and the KMF, netizens in Karnataka were quick to oppose it.
The people tweeted with the hashtag #SaveNandini, Nandini being the brand name of dairy products produced by the KMF.
One person tweeted: “BJP’s aim is to sell the companies owned by our Kannadigas to the North Indian businessmen and help the local corporates under One Country One Scheme. [sic]”
ನಮ್ಮ KMF ಇಡೀ ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿಯೇ 2 ನೆ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಹಾಲು ಉತ್ಪಾದನಾ ಸಹಕಾರಿಯಾಗಿದೆ.
ವಿದೇಶಗಳಲ್ಲೂ ಇದರ ವ್ಯಾಪಾರ ವಹಿವಾಟು ಇದೆ
ಒಂದು ದೇಶ ಒಂದು ಯೋಜನೆ ಅಡಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಮಾಲೀಕತ್ವದ ಕಂಪನಿಗಳನ್ನು ಉತ್ತರದವರಿಗೆ ಮಾರಿ ಅಥವಾ ಅವರ ಜೊತೆ ವಿನಿಯೋಗ ಮಾಡಿ ಅಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಕಾರ್ಪೊರೇಟ್ ಉದ್ಯಮಿಗಳಿಗೆ ಸಹಾಯ ಮಾಡೋದೇ ಬಿಜೆಪಿಗರ ಗುರಿ.#savenandini pic.twitter.com/GhdmNSLE6P
— ಕಾರ್ತಿಕ್ (@karthick8746) December 30, 2022
‘2 lakh dairies in next 3 years’
The Union home minister announced new schemes for the flourishing dairy business in Karnataka.
Announcing the setting up of 2 lakh dairies across the country, Shah said: “It has been decided to set up a primary dairy in every village panchayat across the country. In the next three years, we will set up 2 lakh primary diaries at the village level across the country. We will associate with farmers across the country for the white revolution. With this, India will become the biggest exporter in the milk sector.”
There are around 15 cooperative milk unions in the state. The office-bearers of these milk unions have no qualms if the Union government proposes a single milk federation across the country.
Dharwad Milk Union chairman Shankar Mugad said: “If the Union government announces that it will bring all the cooperative milk federations under one roof, we will welcome it.”
He added: “This will bring uniformity in prices while procuring milk from farmers and selling the same to customers. This will also increase the revenue for farmers and milk federations. As there are different unions across the state, there are price variations while procuring. This will resolve most of the issues of the milk federations.”
Shah lashes out at Congress, JD(S)
On his maiden participation in the Jana Sankalpa Yatra in Mandya, which is dominated by the Vokkaliga community, Shah came down heavily on the Congress and the JD(S), accusing both the parties of corruption and dynasty politics.
In a bid to make inroads in the Vokkaliga belt, Shah kick-started his poll campaigning for the 2023 Karnataka Assembly polls in the Old Mysuru region on Friday.
At present, six out of seven Assembly segments are represented by the JD(S), and the remaining one by the BJP in Mandya.
Appealing to drive the Congress and the JD(S) out of the region, Shah said: “Enough of the Congress and the JD(S) in Mandya. The people of the old-Mysuru region should give a majority to the BJP in next year’s Assembly polls. The time has come to get free from dynasty politics and corruption.”
He added: “The Congress and the JD(S) are both parivaarvadi [dynastic] parties and also corrupt. We have seen the administration of both parties. If the Congress comes to power, Karnataka will become Delhi’s ATM. If the JD(S) comes, it becomes the ATM for a family [referring to JD(S) supremo HD Devegowda’s family].”
He laos said: “These two parties’ corruption has hindered the progress of Karnataka. In the next five years, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we will take the state towards the path of progress.”
Shah also said: “The Congress and the JD(S) are not only corrupt but also communal and protectors of criminals. When the Siddaramaiah government was at the helm, he allowed many PFI workers to walk free. However, the Modi government has put a break to the anti-national activities being carried out by the PFI, as we have sent its workers behind the bars.”
Siddaramaiah hits back
Terming Amit Shah a political trader, Congress Legislative Party leader and former Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah hit back at Union home minister for alleging that the Congress was a corrupt party.
“It is humorous that Shah, a political trader who has put the post of chief minister for sale for ₹2,000 crore, is making allegations of corruption against the Congress,” retorted Siddaramaiah.
In his series of tweets, he pointed out the alleged misadministration of the Bommai-led Karnataka government.
ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ಹುದ್ದೆಯನ್ನೇ 2000 ಕೋಟಿ ರೂಪಾಯಿಗೆ ಮಾರಾಟಕ್ಕೆ ಇಟ್ಟಿರುವ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ವ್ಯಾಪಾರಿ ಗೃಹಸಚಿವ @AmitShah ಅವರು ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಪಕ್ಷದ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಭ್ರಷ್ಟಾಚಾರದ ಆರೋಪ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ತಮಾಷೆಯಾಗಿದೆ.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) December 30, 2022
“The Union government is yet to fully provide Karnataka’s GST share, grants have not been released for the Centrally-sponsored projects, and farmers have not received flood, drought, and crop-loss compensation. Is the state government providing your (Shah) 40 percent commission share without fail?” asked Siddaramaiah.