Last Updated: April 10, 2023, 15:03 IST
Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah (L) Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai (R) [Photo | PTI]
Siddaramaiah alleged Nandini products started fast disappearing from the market, and are being replaced by Amul, right after Home Minister Shah pitched the idea of Amul and KMF’s merger
With Karnataka Assembly elections inching closer, the political row over Amul’s entry into the southern state’s market has escalated. While the Opposition is attacking the ruling BJP for allegedly destroying the state’s cooperative society -Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), the BJP government has defended the move and said Amul will pose no threat to Nandini’s supremacy in the state.
Labelling the move as Gujarat intrusion into Karnataka, the state’s former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition, Siddaramaiah, took to Twitter to launch an attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the “possibility of KMF and Amul merger”.
“With the entry of Gujarat’s Amul into our state the demand for Nandini will further fall and the storage of KMF will further decrease. Why are you trying to hurt the farmers whose main source of Income is dairy farming Mr. Narendra Modiji?” read the tweet (sic).
Siddaramaiah further alleged that the products of Karnataka’s brand Nandini started fast disappearing from the market, and are being replaced by Amul, right after Home Minister Shah pitched the idea of Amul and KMF’s merger. The Congress leader called it an unusual development taking place in Karnataka.
Meanwhile, Congress state chief DK Shivakumar paid a visit to Nandini Milk parlour in Hassan to extend his support to the state’s brand and back the farmers contributing to KMF. He also bought several Nandini products from the booth.
“I’m not asking you to stop, I do agree it’s an open market but we must save our farmers. Let there be Amul, but you must save our farmers. Our farmers are sacrificing and selling it at a cheaper price even though they sustain losses,” said Shivakumar who was seen sipping Nandini buttermilk in front of the shop.
However, BJP hit back at the Congress over Amul versus Nandini row and said the Opposition party is creating the whole political brouhaha over the issue for their political benefit in the upcoming election, as the KMF cannot be destroyed and no other brand can compete with Nandini
“Already milk from eight states is being sold in Karnataka. There are discussions that milk from Gujarat will also be sold here. Our Nandini brand has grown to an extent where no one can compete with us. A total of 74 Lakh litres milk is produced here. Amul or if any other product enters Karnataka, there will be no problem because of them to Nandhini. For their political reasons, the Opposition parties are doing this and our farmers must understand this,” said Minister of social welfare and Justice, Kota Srinivas Pujari.
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has also defended his government’s move and said in comparison to the time of the Congress government in the state, the market of this brand has doubled now.
“Nandini will become the number one brand in the country but there should be no politics surrounding Amul. Nandini products are being sold in other states and all steps will be taken to overtake Amul in the competitive market,” said Bommai speaking on the issue.
Amul’s entry into the Karnataka market met with strong opposition from various associations in Karnataka. While the Bengaluru Hotel Association called for the boycott of Amul products and vowed to use only Nandini products, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike staged protests in Bengaluru over the issue.
The pro-Kannada organisation also protested at Mysore Bank circle by destroying Amil products to express their outrage.
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