The tussle over the entry of Amul, a Gujarat based cooperative, in the Karnataka market has been intensifying recently with the state government firmly rejecting any plans to block the brand from selling its milk and curd in Bengaluru. The political pressure from the opposition parties of the state, Congress and JD(S), to protect the interests of the local dairy farmers has not deterred the CM Basavaraj Bommai from maintaining his stance against barring their entry. Though Nandini, a brand under which the Karnataka Milk Federation markets its products, would have to compete in the open market against Amul, Bommai warned against any political agenda being made around the brand.
Amul is a premier milk and milk product brand that was established by Anand Milk Union Limited in 1946. It is a cooperative of millions of milk producers, initially of Gujarat and now of the rest of India. Since its founding, it has played a significant role in uplifting the livelihoods of milk producers, helping launch White Revolution and National Milk Grid, and empower the dairy cooperatives in the central and state governments.
Ex-CM Siddaramaiah had urged Kannadigas not to buy Amul products in a tweet, and was supported by former Prime Minister HD Kumaraswamy, leader of JD(S). In response to this, Bommai issued a stern message that the politics that surrounded Amul’s entry into the state must cease, and that the competition must remain fair in the open market. It remains to be seen how the issue will play out as the state election is fast approaching.