BJP State unit president D.V. Sadananda Gowda to take over from him?
BANGALORE: G. Somashekar Reddy, MLA, was on Saturday elected unopposed chairman of the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF).
Mr. Somashekar Reddy was the only director of a milk union (Raichur-Bellary-Koppal milk union) to file his nomination papers for the post of chairman of the KMF. He was accompanied by his elder brothers Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy and Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy on his maiden visit to the KMF headquarters.
President of the State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party D.V. Sadananda Gowda, Minister for Transport R. Ashoka and Minister for Cooperation Laxman Savadi and nearly 20 legislators from the BJP were present when Mr. Somashekar Reddy took charge as chairman of the KMF.
Sources in the Government and in the BJP told The Hindu that the approval given to Mr. Somashekar Reddy to file his nomination papers for the post was preceded by high drama. While a majority of the BJP leaders were reportedly against Mr. Somashekar Reddy’s nomination for the post, the Reddy brothers and their supporters in the BJP Legislature Party were keen on their nominee. The Reddy brothers laid a claim for the post as they played an important role in the milk union elections held a month ago and enabled the BJP register a landslide victory. In a surcharged atmosphere, Mr. Somashekar Reddy was given approval to file his nomination papers, and it was reportedly agreed that he would be the chairman for a limited period and the BJP State unit president would take over from him.
However, after taking charge, Mr. Somashekar Reddy denied the agreement that he would head the KMF only for a limited period.
The Government, which enjoys the privilege of nominating three directors to the KMF Board, nominated Mr. Sadananda Gowda, E. Ashwathanarayan and Mangala Devi of Muddebihal taluk in Bijapur district. They are from the organisational wing of the BJP.
In the 19-member KMF Board, 13 elected directors (one each from the 13 milk unions) are nominated. The Principal Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry; the Director of Animal Husbandry; and the General Manager of the National Dairy Development Board and three others are nominated to the board by the Government. The Managing Director of the KMF is the member-secretary of the board, but he has no voting right. Thus, to win the election for the post of chairman of KMF, the candidate has to secure at least 10 votes. The BJP, following the landslide victory in the milk union elections, had 15 votes. Normally, the NDDB nominee stays away from the chairman’s election.
Mr. Somashekar Reddy succeeds the former Public Works Minister and Floor leader of the Janata Dal (Secular) in the Legislative Assembly, H.D. Revanna, who was chairman of the KMF for nearly 12 years.
From procuring milk from several States to overcome scarcity, the KMF is now one of the largest milk federations in the country selling around 29 lakh litres a day, apart from using another 10 lakh litres to manufacture milk powder and other milk products.