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India's `milkman' Kurien calls it a day

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`Do I deserve this kind of treatment from the board?'

DR VARGHESE KURIEN
DR VARGHESE KURIEN

Our Bureau

Ahmedabad, March 20

India's `Milkman' Dr Varghese Kurien has resigned as the Chairman of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), better known for `Amul' brand of milk products, following plans to move a no-confidence motion against him.

Dr Kurien is credited with the country's white revolution and self-sufficiency in milk protection, having set up institutions such as Amul, the National Dairy Development Board and Institute of Rural Management, Anand.

But in recent years, his leadership had been challenged by the very people whom he had mentored. After leaving NDDB about five years ago, Dr Kurien on Monday announced that he is stepping down as the GCMMF Chairman. "I am anguished and pained by a recent move of the GCMMF Board against me. The members have taken a decision to pass a no-confidence motion against me and have even gone to the Board of Nominees restraining me from carrying out my functions as Chairman," Dr Kurien said at Anand on Monday.

Upset at the move to oust him from an institution he had helped create, an emotional Dr Kurien said: "Having served the co-operative dairy sector for over five decades with complete dedication and commitment, do I deserve this kind of treatment from the board members?" Surprising, just three months ago the same Board had unanimously elected him as Chairman for a three-year term.

"I can only think that the recent decision of the Board members for my removal is an orchestrated act involving people at a very high level. The board has become a pawn in the bigger game of some vested interests bent upon capturing the cooperative body," he said. Asked what his future course of action would be, Dr Kurien said that he had several offers from other countries, including Pakistan, to replicate the Amul model.

Related Stories:
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Kurien flays NDDB's move to import milk powder
NDDB joint ventures against divestment policy: Kurien
`There's space for more than Amul' - Kurien `worried' about Patel's successor
Amrita Patel gets fresh term as NDDB chief

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 21, 2006)
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