10 Apr 2023

Karnataka: Amul-Nandini Row Intensifies; What Ruling BJP Said?

Bengaluru: BJP's IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted on Sunday that Amul will not take brand entry in Karnataka. In fact, Gujarat's Amul brand had announced on April 5 that they would sell their products in Karnataka as well. After this political uproar had started in the state. The Congress and the Janata Dal Secular (JDS) accused the BJP of trying to destroy Karnataka's milk brand Nandini.


Now, Amit Malviya has said that Amul is not coming to Karnataka. Congress is spreading lies that Nandini brand is going to be merged with Amul. BJP has done a lot of work to make Nandini a global brand, Malviya said.


Malviya said Amul is not entering Karnataka. Both Amul and KMF sell their products across quick-commerce platforms. KMF's turnover went up by Rs 10,000 crore after BJP came to power in 2019. In 2022, turnover stood at Rs 25,000 crore, of which Rs 20,000 crore went back to farmers of Karnataka, said Amit Malviya.


Political implications of Amul’s entry 


With Assembly elections due within a month, the political controversy over the entry of Amul, the Gujarat state milk cooperative brand, in the Karnataka market has political consequences for the ruling BJP. Amul’s entry is likely to turn a crucial electoral vote bank away from BJP. The Opposition has claimed Amul’s entry is backed by the BJP and it would pose a threat to the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) brand “Nandini” that is closely associated with the identity of Kannadigas. 



BJP is cautious about political ramifications of the row as KMF has a vast network that comprises 22,000 villages, 24 lakh milk producers, and 14,000 cooperative societies that purchase about 84 lakh kg of milk daily. Large numbers of of milk producers belong to old Mysuru regions such as Mandya, Mysuru, Ramanagara and Kolar, and the central Karnataka district of Davangere, making them an important electoral constituency since they are spread across over 120 Assembly constituencies.


BJP destroying the state’s pride: Siddaramaiah


Earlier, in a bid to garner political mileage from the issue, Congress leader and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had said a day earlier on Sunday that the Basavaraj Bommai-led government was destroying the state’s pride Nandini brand.


After this the state government got into damage-control mode. Minister for Cooperatives ST Somashekar said there was no plan to merge KMF and Amul. He said the Congress and the JDS were only spreading lies in a bid to derive political mileage from the issue.

Hotel owners extend support to KMF


Meanwhile, hotel owners in Bengaluru have lent their support the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) and its products. The Bruhat Bangalore Hotels’ Association, which represents about 24,000 small and big hotels in the city and consumes over 4 lakh litres of milk and 50,000 litres of curd daily, is among the bulk consumers of KMF’s Nandini products. According to the association, it is their social responsibility to safeguard the interest of farmers, particularly women who supply milk to the KMF.

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