There seems to be no let up in the controversy over Amul entering the Bengaluru market after the milk behemoth’s announcement brewed a storm last week.
The Opposition Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) continued their tirade against the BJP for attempting to weaken the Karnataka Milk Federation even as Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai termed their accusations as “misinformation” that has caused anxiety among milk producers and the public.
On Monday, former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy alleged that the BJP had made an earlier attempt in 2008 to “kill KMF” by allowing Amul for market extension. He said that the then BJP government in Karnataka had allowed Amul marketing unit in Jnanabharathi campus of Bangalore University, which had been opposed by the JD(S). “They have only given life to a 15-year-old conspiracy to trample upon Karnataka. It is an attempt to weaken Karnataka. Then KMF chairman H.D. Revanna had vehemently opposed the move,” he said.
Congress MP D.K. Suresh accused the BJP of creating confusion and asked what was the fault with KMF that markets nearly 160 milk and milk products.
“Milk farmers of Karnataka have earned respect, and the BJP is trying the merger the way it did with Karnataka-based banks. When all the attention is on an election, an attempt has been made to intrude into the milk sector. The KMF supports 28 lakh farmers and about 2.5 lakh employees in the cooperative sector. This is just an attempt to privatise the milk sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bommai termed the attack on Amul’s entry as mischievous and misleading, resulting in anxiety among farmers and people.
“The Opposition is trying to politicise the issue. I condemn it. Politics should not go down to this level. Nandini is only doing well in Karnataka but is also going to international markets.”
Stating that the KMF is safe, he said: “Neither farmers nor the people should believe in this misinformation campaign”.