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‘Are You Now Trying to Steal Nandini from Us?,’ Siddaramaiah Asks Modi

Last Updated: April 09, 2023, 23:22 IST

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah. (PTI)

Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah. (PTI)

Amul’s move is being seen by many, especially opposition parties, as a threat to KMF’s famed dairy brand ‘Nandini’. They also see it as an attempt to trample upon KMF, amid a narrative around its merger with Amul.

Continuing his offensive against the ruling BJP, after Amul announced its plans to sell milk and curd in the Bengaluru market, Senior Congress leader Siddaramaiah on Sunday tweeted asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was visiting Karnataka on Sunday, whether the purpose of his visit was “to loot the state”.

Alleging that the State’s milk production had been affected since the day Union Cooperative Minister Amit Shah spoke about the possibility of merging the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) with Amul, the former Chief Minister in a series of tweets asked the Prime Minister what his role had been in this.

Amul’s move is being seen by many, especially opposition parties, as a threat to KMF’s famed dairy brand ‘Nandini’. They also see it as an attempt to trample upon KMF, amid a narrative around its merger with Amul.

“Is your purpose of coming to Karnataka to give to Karnataka or to loot from Karnataka? You have already stolen banks, ports and airports from Kannadigas. Are you now trying to steal Nandini (KMF) from us?” Siddaramaiah asked.

“It was Gujarat’s Baroda Bank that subsumed our Vijaya Bank. Ports and Airports were handed over to Gujarat’s Adani. Now, Amul from Gujarat is planning to eat our KMF (Nandini). Mr Narendra Modi, Are we the enemies for Gujaratis?” Instead of giving 2 crore jobs a year to youths, Narendra Modi took away the jobs of Kannadigas from our banks, ports and airports, he further said, adding that “Now Karnataka BJP wants to hurt the prospects of our farmers by giving KMF to Amul.” Modi was in Mysuru and Chamarajanagara districts to attend an event commemorating 50 years of ‘Project Tiger’.

The attacks from Siddaramaiah came despite Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday clarifying in this regard. Calling ‘Nandini’ the pride of Karnataka, and stating that his government had taken all kinds of measures to make it number one at the national level, Bommai said, “Nandini’s market reach is wide, there is no need to fear Amul.” Congress politicising everything is not in the interest of the state, he had said. “We are also going to other states and marketing….we will do all that is required to put Amul behind in the competition.” State Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar on Sunday reiterated that there was no proposal to merge KMF with Amul.

“If Amul sells milk online at Rs 57 per litre, we sell it at Rs 39. We are sending our products to Tamil Nadu and other states,” he said, adding that it was impossible to erase the Nandini brand.

State BJP General Secretary C N Ashwathnarayan criticised former Chief Ministers Siddaramaiah of Congress and H D Kumaraswamy of JDS for making “irresponsible statements” on the issue.

Stating that it was clear that Amul was trying to indulge in unnecessary competition with KMF and was planning to trample Nandini day by day, Kumaraswamy had said “Unhealthy competition between well-known sister organisations in the cooperative sector is not in anyone’s interest. KMF directly buys milk from farmers through cooperative societies in thousands of villages in the state.”

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