BJP uses law to cut Cong majority in Amul

It was supposed to be a sweet victory in a long time for the ailing Congress party in Gujarat, when its candidates regained control over the Kaira Distrcit Milk Cooperative Society, the original owner of brand Amul, last month.

The sitting legislator of Congress and chairman of the Kheda District Milk Union Ramsinh Parmar led the party-backed candidates to regain 10 of the 13 seats of the society.

However, the positive news for Congress from Kheda appears to be short-lived, as the BJP government in the state is now using a statutory clause in what it calls “public interest”. The state government has announced that it is appointing three of its representatives in the society to curb the newly-won powers by Congressmen. The state’s Registrar of Cooperatives nominated three members, apparently with BJP leanings, citing Section 80 (2) of the Gujarat Cooperatives Societies Act which “allows” the state government to do so in “public interest.”

Kheda remained as the last bastion of Congress among Gujarat’s dairy cooperative unions, with the BJP controlling the remaining 16 dairy cooperatives and its chairmanship of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation.

Parmar says that with the three elected members and now, three nominated ones, one each from the National Dairy Development Board, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation and Kheda District Cooperative Bank, the government is trying to usurp the democratic right of cooperative members.

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