Yeddyurappa must think big and bold!
He must drop any partisan agenda!
Give co-operative institution full autonomy!
No interference, please!
Karnataka Milk Federation elections raise issues
Co-operatives institutions must enjoy great autonomy
Yeddyurappa must ensure great care and observe norms in good governance
Yeddyurappa is doing well, in fact very well. We can’t attest to this observation.
The first BJP government in Karnataka and that too won with great opposition parties, led by the Congress and Deve Gowda in the JD(S), the credit goes entirely to Yeddyurappa whom people thought he was wronged by a sort of political treachery.
The Congress and the JD(S) have to eat humble pie.
So, Yeddyurappa as expected by the people who put the trust in him and thereby in fact taken a gamble.
To his credit, so far Yeddyurappa came out unscathed. Yes, there were some flipsides, the ramar sena, pubculture etc. The ill-treatment of the media men in Mangalore was a blot.
However, his bold initiatives to go big on infrastructure, more so in Bangalore have raised high hopes.
His Cabinet is of course composed of so many outsiders and this is also questioned and questionable.
So, the very stability and promise and performance are all there as challenges.
So, Yeddyurappa must treat carefully.
The latest news is about the elections to the board of directors of the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF).
Already in the very beginning of the new government there was talk of interfering in the working of the KMF, whose MD is none other than Sri Revanna, the son of Deve Gowda and also a former minister and a politician in his own right.
But to the credit of Revanna, it must be said he had turned around KMF into the foremost state level co-operative milk federation. Nandini, the brand name of the KMF products is now an established brand.
It is our firm view that such large scale co-operative organisations are better left to manage their own affairs without direct interference from the state government.
Co-operative institutions are a testimony to the healthy democracy and where the citizens welfare is ensured by such decentralised management of various services and industrial ventures, from milk to sugar to many other co-operative ventures.
India’s vast rural hinterland is dotted with very successful co-operatives, big and small and India needs such co-operatives specially the village co-operatives, for credit and other needs.
When the first rural credit survey came out and when Pandit Nehru wrote the introduction he observed: If the rural credit co-operatives had failed, then, we have to make them succeed, there is no other alternative”. Nehru was a great man. He was a visionary. He had the vision.
But we can’t say the same thing about others who came after him.
Today, except for the Amul co-operative, we can’t say there are very many other examples.
Even when Varghese Kurien left Amul, he was left out in the cold and even now he is not given the due recognition he deserves.
We have written many times in these pages that Varghese Kurien must be conferred the title of Bharat Ratna. Lesser men and women have been conferred this highest civilian award. Even now, we appeal to the President of India to confer this award on Kurien, more as a resolve on our apart to promote co-operative institutions in the service of the aamm aadmi!
But there are so many blind visions that are blinding our true calling and true commitments in the heist of offices.
Our leaders have all suddenly become small men and women in high offices!
Now, why such homilies?
Simply because in the case of KMF, there is a move, it seems, from the BJP ranks, from the Reddy brothers from Bellary to put up their man for the election to the top post. This is reported in the media. There is also resistance from within the BJP cadre.
Several party leaders and old-time workers of the p-arty have decided to take up the matter with the Chief Minister.
There are many experienced co-operative leaders in Karnataka.
In fact, Yeddyurappa would do much public good if he comes out with a special co-operative promotion policy and revive and strengthen the existing co-operatives, in sugar and in other commodities, including the land mortgage and credit co-ops to become a viable alternative to the commercial banks to lend to the farming and weaker sectors.
Even otherwise, the co-operative is well-run and it is wisdom only to allow the other party leaders who head such bodies to allow them to take the federation new heights of excellence.
That is wisdom and foresight.
When Ramakrishna Hegde became the Chief Minister in 1983, he boldly introduced the radically innovative panchayat raj decentralisation of power. That gave Hegde an enduring fame.
Even now, Yeddyurappa can play such a radical role. He can revive the co-operative agri credit institutions and route the conessional agri credit at low interest rates. Even the Centre too, even in the latest budget failed to do so. So, here is an opportunity for the chief minister to set a new trend in the farm sector. That would earn him enduring fame.
Such a bold stand if taken by Yeddyurappa, he will go down in the esteem of the public.
In fact, he must take a leaf from his counterpart from neighbouring AP where new forms of experimentation if being undertaken by co-operatives in farming sector, to form co-operative and sort of jointly managed farming by polling the small landholders into viable farm management ventures.
This is an extremely sensitive and high priority matter in the context of the current farming scenario.
Yeddyurappa must think big and bold. He must give up any partisan agenda.