Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much-publicised visit to Amul factory in Gujarat on Sunday was quite a high-profile event. While at the iconic centre of India’s dairy revolution, the prime minister inaugurated a 5 million tonne per annum capacity liquefied natural gas terminal at Mundra and a chocolate factory of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd in Anand.
Speaking at the event, Modi said that Amul as a brand was admired and respected in India and abroad adding that the brand was synonymous with ‘quality and has empowered several people associated with it.’
However, the event was mired with considerable protests as six Amul directors including vice-chairman Rajendrasinh Parmar chose to boycott the event attended by Modi in Anand district. The key reason behind Amul directors boycotting the prime minister’s event was the BJP’s attempts to extract political mileage out of the function.
Rajendrasinh said that the BJP had hijacked the event and put up posters and party flags across the city. He said that the invitation card only had names of BJP leaders and leaders from only one party were present on stage. He alleged that nearly Rs 10-15 crore of ‘farmer’s money’ was spent to hold the event.
“I did not go for the event, along with five other directors, including Dhirubhai Chavda, Juvansinh Chauhan, Rajusinh Parmar, Neetaben Solanki, Chandubhai Parmar. I told the chairman and the managing director that I have no objection to the Prime Minister’s visit. But it should not be political function… At the function, they ended up patting their own backs. Amul did not gain anything from the event,” Rajendrasinh, who is a Congress MLA from Borsad Assembly was quoted by Indian Express.
On the other hand, the board chairperson Ramsinh Parmar was present at the event with other board members. Parmar, a former Congress MLA, had quit his party to join the BJP ahead of the last year’s assembly elections in Gujarat.
A report by PTI said that Modi also launched a Rs 1.44 crore solar cooperative society of Mujkuwa village constructed with the help of Anand-based National Dairy Development Board, and laid the foundation stone of Amul’s milk processing, packaging and butter-making plants.