The State BJP said the Gujarat Chief Minister has nothing to do with the case
Mumbai : The Nationalist Congress Party has questioned the legal notice sent by Advocate Rajendra Shah on behalf of the Mehsana District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union. In his notice, dated February 5, Shah had said Mahananda State Cooperative Dairy owes it an amount of Rs 22.5 crore with 12 per cent interest.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “The State of Maharashtra under late Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had helped people of Gujarat during the Bhuj earthquake and we have never spoken about it. By asking the payment that Narendra Modi made to the farmers in Maharashtra, he has proved the very point that the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had made in his speech, ‘Chotey man se koi bada nahi hota.’ (No person becomes bigger through petty thoughts).
NCP said that Mehsana Milk Cooperative, Gujarat had helped the drought-stricken parts of the State and provided 13,721 metric tonne of cattle food which was distributed in Beed and Nagar districts. Suddenly, Gujarat government filed an FIR on January 24 to get back the payment against the help given to Mahananda.
NCP and Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee have decided to make this an election issue.
However, defending Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government over the criticism for demanding price in lieu of animal fodder given to drought-affected Maharashtra, the state BJP on Thursday said the Gujarat Chief Minister has nothing to do with the case.
“The query regarding the cost of the animal fodder provided by Mehsana Cooperative was raised by the Accountant General as a part of the official work. How can one blame it on Mr Modi?” BJP Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Vinod Tawade told reporters here.
The whole controversy came to light when Vipul Chaudhary, chairman of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation ,faced opposition from a majority of board members over mismanagement in Mehsana District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union (MDCMPU). As per the information circulated by the Indian Cooperative officials, “In a strong-worded letter to Mehsana Union vice-chairman, GCMMF took on the Union over a number of issues, including big loans availed by it and subsequent interest burden, offering cattlefeed worth Rs 22.50 crore to Maharashtra farmers free of cost without taking the approval of the union’s board and selling milk powder to private players at lower rates while overlooking the federation’s advice.”
The managing director of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd that sells Amul first raised this issue through a letter on October 21, 2013, addressed to vice chairperson of MDCMPU, Jalaben Desai, wherein he questioned Chaudhary’s decision. “1.6 Free Gift of Cattle Feed: After spending a huge amount on expansion of cattlefeed plant, without the approval of Mehsana Board, cattlefeed costing Rs 22.5 crore (13,731 MT) was given free to farmers in Maharashtra.”
(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)