Vipul Chaudhary, chairman of India’s largest milk cooperative, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), which owns the Rs 13,735-crore dairy brand Amul, got some respite after the Gujarat High Court stayed a requisition meeting called by the federation’s board of directors to contemplate moving a no-confidence motion against him for alleged mismanagement.
Justice CL Soni heard the matter and stayed the meeting which may have seen Chaudhary being ousted as chairman of GCMMF till next hearing on November 11.
According to sources associated with GCMMF, a resolution was signed by 14 of the 17 directors of various district dairy cooperatives to bring the no-confidence motion against Chaudhary. “There have been a series of grievances against Chaudhary about his autocratic style of functioning as well as not informing the board about the decisions he takes. Even Dudhsagar Dairy which is headed by him is in bad shape and there are instances of mismanagement,” said a source familiar to the development.
Chaudhary, who had taken over as GCMMF chairman in August 2012, also heads the Mehsana District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union, one of the largest members of GCMMF.
Repeated attempts to contact Chaudhary failed to elicit any response.
The move, however, does not seem politically motivated. “This move is not related to his alleged increasing proximity with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. It is created by the media. This discontent had been brewing since last few months and the board had been thinking of ousting him for a few months now,” revealed the source.
There are three district dairy cooperatives who are backing Chaudhary. Those who have not signed the resolution to move the no-confidence motion are Amul Dairy of Anand, Mehsana's Dudhsagar Dairy and Valsad Dairy.
Ramsinh Parmar, chairman of the Kaira District Cooperative Milk Producers' Union, said, “The no-confidence motion against Chaudhary is illegal. Why have they brought the motion? What wrong has he done? Has he caused losses to GCMMF and farmers? Those who have brought the motion are not thinking about the consumers or about marketing.”
This is not the first time a GCMMF chairman has faced such a revolt. The legendary founder-chairman Verghese Kurien, father of India's White Revolution, had to resign as chairman in 2006 following the increasing dissent against him by the board after a five-decade-long association with GCMMF.