Amit Shah on Friday, 30th December sparked a discussion about the Amul and KMF Merger while inaugurating a mega dairy project built at a cost of ₹260 crores by the Mandya District Cooperative Milk Producers Associations Federation at Gejjalagere in Mandya District.
Addressing a gathering, Shah said: “Amul and KMF together will work together towards ensuring there is a primary dairy in every village of Karnataka. KMF will get all the technical support and cooperation from Amul, which is a Gujarat state cooperative society. If Karnataka and Gujarat work together, it will benefit the farmers all over the country.”
This further went on to raise speculations of a merger between Amul and KMF. The opposition and netizens were quick to react to this and slam the BJP government. The former chief minister and Opposition Leader Siddramaiah alleged Shah’s suggestion will have an adverse impact on 25 lakh farmers whose livelihood depends on the KMF. Milk producers in Karnataka are a well-to-do business which sees revenue of around Rs 20,000 crore and now corporates in Gujarat are willing to make money through this.
ಮುಖ್ಯಮಂತ್ರಿ ಹುದ್ದೆಯನ್ನೇ 2000 ಕೋಟಿ ರೂಪಾಯಿಗೆ ಮಾರಾಟಕ್ಕೆ ಇಟ್ಟಿರುವ ರಾಜಕೀಯ ವ್ಯಾಪಾರಿ ಗೃಹಸಚಿವ @AmitShah ಅವರು ಕಾಂಗ್ರೆಸ್ ಪಕ್ಷದ ವಿರುದ್ಧ ಭ್ರಷ್ಟಾಚಾರದ ಆರೋಪ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿರುವುದು ತಮಾಷೆಯಾಗಿದೆ.
— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) December 30, 2022
A Twitter campaign began on Saturday, demanding that the KMF should be saved, with the hashtag #SaveNandini trending.
One person tweeted: “BJP’s aim is to sell the companies owned by our Kannadigas to the North Indian businessmen and help the local corporates under One Country One Scheme.”
ಅಮಿತ್ ಶಾ ಮಂಡ್ಯಕ್ಕೆ ಬಂದಿದ್ದು ಜನಗಳಿಗೋಸ್ಕರ ಅಂದ್ಕೊಂಡ್ರಾ ಹುಹೂಂ ಅಲ್ಲಾ ಗುಜರಾತ್ ಅವರ ಅಮುಲ್ ಅನ್ನೋ ಪ್ರೈವೇಟ್ ಕಂಪನಿಗೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸರಕಾರ ನಡೆಸೋ KMF(karnataka milk federation)ನ ಅವ್ರಿಗೆ ಮಾರಾಟ ಮಾಡೋಕೆ ದಲ್ಲಾಳಿ ತರ ಬಂದೋವ್ರೆ ನಮ್ ಶಾ+++
— ಕಾರ್ತಿಕ್ (@karthick8746) December 30, 2022
Though the state government was quick to release a statement regarding this,
Chief Minister Bommai said, “If Nandini or Amul is technically ahead, this expertise can be shared, and even there could be an exchange in administrative matters. The Union Minister’s statement must not be misunderstood and politicised. “As the CM, I am saying that Nandini will be a separate identity forever.”
"Can't respond to speculation. What @AmitShah said is clear. He has suggested Amul & Nandini help each other in technology & marketing & complement each other. That doesn't mean they will be merged," says @CMofKarnataka @BSBommai on #SaveNandini campaign. pic.twitter.com/U5nBcVYK7y
— Anusha Ravi Sood (@anusharavi10) January 1, 2023
Cooperation Minister S T Somashekar added that Shah never spoke about a merger. “The Centre will give 60% of the funds required for the software. all societies will have the same software and rules,” There is no proposal for merger, and it is just a Congress and JDS gimmick as elections are nearing, he added.
Amidst heavy criticism, some upheld the proposal, President of the Shivamogga, Davanagere and Chitradurga Cooperative Milk Producers’ Societies Union Ltd (SHIMUL) NH Shreepada Rao on Saturday welcomed the suggestion stating, “This is a good move as it helps dairy farmers get remunerative prices for milk. Moreover, value addition for milk procured by farmers will fetch additional revenue.” Stating that the milk procurement price is low in the state as compared to Amul, he said, “Our farmers too will get a good price if this merger takes place. Private players will become irrelevant in Karnataka.” “Though we are providing milk and milk products of good quality, we are unable to sell them abroad. With the merger, our products too can be exported,” he added.