KOMUL polls: Clout holds the key

KOMUL polls: Clout holds the key

Politics takes precedence over ability in the election of president to the federation of milk coops

The ability to mobilise support has taken precedence over leadership qualities in the election to a body, that is expected to function purely on the basis of principles of cooperation. People who became directors with the support of Congres, JD(S) and BJP are preparing themselves to ‘show their strength’.

The political parleys have cast doubts on the continuation of the practice of ‘unanimous election’ of presidents, being followed hitherto. The election has assumed importance as the president also happens to be a representative of the State Milk Federation.
Apart from other candidates, K V Nagaraj of Chikkaballapur, Gudiyappa of Shidlaghatta, Rajagopal of Chintamani, Jayasimha of Bangarpet (all former presidents) and immediate past president Kadenahalli Nagaraj are in the fray. Munivenkatappa of Srinivaspur, who is the director for third time, and Manjunatha Reddy, the director for the second time are also the contenders.

Contenders in the fray

Out of the directors elected on political support, Rajagopal, K V Nagaraj, Kadenahalli Nagaraj supported by JD(S), Gudiyappa, Jayasimha and Munivenkatappa enjoying Congress support are prominent. On the other hand, Madderi Ramegowda, a senior leader of the cooperation movement, enjoying the patronage of former MLA Srinivasa Gowda has also emerged as a strong contender. The outcome, in this context would depend on the efforts put in by Srinivasa Gowda and his political bete noire, K H Muniyappa.

It is also said that former minister Alangur Srinivas, JD(S) district president and MLA Venkatashiva Reddy, former MLA from Malur A Nagaraj and JD(S) leader Prabhakar are making combined efforts, in collaboration with Srinivasagowda, to crown Ramegowda as the president. The two groups are said to keen on following the strategy adopted while electing Srinivasan of JD(S) as the Zilla Panchayat president. On the other hand, Member of Parliament K H Muniyappa is reportedly making efforts to secure the post for his supporters by gaining the confidence of Karnataka Milk Federation president H D Revanna.

Congress leaders are said to have held a meeting on Thursday to chalk out the plan of action. One more meeting will be held at Railway Bhavan on Friday. Meanwhile, sources say that the directors elected with JD(S) support have been asked to attend a meeting to be held at the residence of Revanna in Bangalore.

The procedure

A meeting to elect the president will be held at Kolar Milk Union Limited (KOMUL) auditorium at 12 noon on July 11. The aspirants for the post will have to submit their nomination to the Managing Director of the Federation, K L Gajendran. One of the directors will be elected as the pro-tem president. The director, so chosen, cannot contest the election for the post of president. The election will be held in the even of more than one persons submitting their nomination. However, they can also be elected unanimously. The results are expected to be out by 2 pm.

The electoral college for consists 13 directors elected to the Federation, deputy director of Animal Husbandry department, joint registrar of Cooperation Department, a representative each from National Dairy Development Board and Karnataka Milk Federation. The members nominated by the government too cast the votes. But their number is yet to be decided. The Managing Director of the Federation functions as member-secretary.

Expertise must to run the show

Even as the race for the post of KOMUL president is hottening up, experts say that only people with prior experience can lead the Federation to progress. “It is impossible for a novice to be in charge of the Federation which has a annual turnover in the range of Rs 500 crore,” opines a former president. It is impossible to market the entire 7.54 lakh litres of milk collected by the Federation. Converting the milk into power is the only imperative. The producers are now being paid Rs 13.31 per litre and and in view of the mounting expenses, it may have to be reduced. Not only that, it is also inevitable to increase the price of the milk by at least Rs 2 per litre. However, the government has not given occasion for these measures. “Under these circumstances, only a person with prior experience can meet the challenges,” he opined.

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