Vipul Chaudhary, chairman of Mehsana District Cooperative Milk Producers Union, was today elected chairman of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF).
Across the country, GCMMF sells milk and milk products under the brands Amul and Sagar.
Chaudhary, who was elected unanimously by all the 16 board members of GCMMF, succeeds Parthi Bhatol, who served two terms of three years as chairman. Bhatol had nominated Chaudhary for the post. Both Chaudhary and Bhatol are affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). While Chaudhary is a former state home minister, Bhatol’s son Vasant is an elected BJP member of legislative assembly from north Gujarat.
With an annual turnover of about Rs 12,000 crore, GCMMF is India's largest food products marketing cooperative, procuring about 11 million litres of milk a day from 3.2 million producers across 16,000 villages in the state.
Chaudhary said, “It is a matter of great honour to lead an institution like the federation founded by V Kurien. The dairy cooperatives of Gujarat have succeeded because of the combination of dynamic farmer leadership and professional management.” He added GCMMF had set a sales turnover target of Rs 30,000 crore by 2020. “We would strive to pay remunerative prices of milk to producers to enable them to increase the dairy business. We will take urgent steps to provide cattle-feed and fodder support to the drought-affected milk producers of Saurashtra and Kutch regions.”
Chaudhary, a dairy farmer with a degree in engineering, started his political career as youth president of the BJP in Mehsana district in 1993. He was also elected member of the legislative assembly and later, a state cabinet minister.
N D Mistry, regional officer of the Anand district collectorate, conducted the elections in the presence of board members (chairmen representing their respective district milk unions in the state). “After the motion was put to vote, Chaudhary was elected unanimously. The proceedings were completed within half an hour,” Mistry told Business Standard.
Bhatol, chairman of Banas Dairy Union, said, “I had not filed nominations for the post of chairman this year. I proposed Vipul’s name. He has significant experience in the dairy industry, and is heading the Dudhsagar Dairy in Mehsana. All of us will together steer GCMMF to new heights.”
On the election results, a senior GCMMF officer said, “BJP accounts for the majority in our board, and the party has taken a decision regarding the post of chairman.” Of the 16 district milk unions, 12 are controlled by BJP, while the remaining are under the Congress fold.
According to the voting pattern in GCMMF, each board member has a vote. This apart, on the basis of the business his/her dairy records every year, every board member is also entitled to additional votes.