A requisitioned meeting of the Board of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which markets dairy products under brand Amul, was stayed by the Gujarat High Court (HC) on Friday after chairman Vipul Chaudhary challenged the same and sought urgent hearing of his petition. The meeting was called on Saturday to bring about no-confidence motion against Chaudhary.
Chaudhary, who was elected GCMMF chairman a little over a year ago with the backing of the BJP-affiliated dairy unions, had challenged the meeting and sought urgent hearing of his petition. Restraining the meeting, a single-judge bench of Justice C L Soni posted the matter for further hearing on November 11 after Diwali vacation.
Chaudhary’s counsel B B Naik said, “The court has granted the stay on the ground that under the rules of the cooperative societies, there is no provision for removing a chairman by bringing no-confidence motion. Also, the agenda notice for Saturday’s meeting was of one line and it was not known who issued it.”
As many as 14 members of the 17-member GCMMF have turned against Chaudhary allegedly because of his way of functioning that “went against the interest of the Federation and farmers”, as Parthi Bhatol, chairman of Banaskantha Milk Producers’ Union and a member of GCMMF board, said.
BJP-affiliated Board members, who had supported Chaudhary’s election as GCMMF chairman, have started opposing him after he was seen as getting closer to Congress and after he met Rahul Gandhi on his visit to Ahmedabad.
“He takes decisions without taking any Board member or even the managing director into confidence. Many of these decisions go against the interest of the GCMMF and other dairy unions,” Bhatol, a former GCMMF chairman said.
In a letter written by the Managing Director (MD) of the GCMMF, R S Sodhi to the vice-chairman of Mahesana District Milk Cooperative Union on October 21, it was alleged that the Dairy, to which Chaudhary is chairman, has indulged in several financial irregularities, including setting up of milk packaging plant at an investment of Rs 300 crore without taking GCMMF into confidence.
Other charges were purchasing five plants to package “Amul Moti” brand at an investment of Rs 85 crore; purchasing house and office in New Delhi for Rs 18 crore, and an office in Ahmedabad for Rs 2.75 crore and gifting 13,731 ton cattle-feed worth Rs 22.5 crore to Maharashtra farmers, among others.