Reddy aide is new KMF chief

Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) chairperson G Somashekara Reddy on Friday removed A S Premnath as the managing director and replaced him with his close aide Lakshman Reddy.

Premnath had taken charge as the managing director only a couple of weeks ago, following the KMF Board’s decision to remove M N Venkataram for his alleged involvement in the cotton seed cake procurement scam.

The Board had subsequently suspended him for his refusal to obey its decision. Premnath had the backing of the State government. The Board had also transferred the then Director (Finance) Narasimha Reddy to Bijapur in connection with the scam.

Reddy, who recently walked out of jail on bail, also appointed Narasimha Reddy the managing director of Bangalore Dairy. Lakshmana Reddy was hitherto the managing director of Bangalore Dairy. An upset Premnath, who has been transferred to Milk Powder Manufacturing Unit in Bijapur, is said to have tendered his resignation.

Official sources said that the chairperson cannot take a unilateral decision to remove the managing director. Only the Board is authorised to do so.

Reddy’s decision to appoint a new managing director is seen as an effort to assert his authority in the KMF. He was lodged in a jail in Andhra Pradesh for his alleged involvement in the cash-for-bail scam and he had the recent meetings of the Board.

Though technically Reddy is a BJP legislator, it is almost certain that he would quit the party soon. He is associated with B Sriramulu of BSR Congress.

In the transfer order issued to Premnath, Reddy is learnt to have stated that he has been transferred for holding the Board meetings illegally in his absence. Co-operation Minister B J Puttaswamy was not available for comments.

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