A BJP-supported panel led by Ashok Chaudhary outmuscled dairy heavy-weight and former chairman of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) Vipul Chaudhary to win the Dudhsagar Dairy polls on Tuesday.
Ashok Chaudhary’s panel, which won in 13 of the total 15 seats that went to polls, will now have complete control over the six-decade-old dairy that has an annual turnover of over Rs 4,700 crore and operates milk processing plants in Gujarat and Haryana. In the 2015 polls, Ashok Chaudhary’s panel had won only three of the 16 seats that went to the polls then.
“The panel led by Ashok Chaudhary won 13 of the 15 seats. Vipul Chaudhary lost his own seat. The only two seats that his panel won are in the Vijapur constituency,” CC Patel, the prant officer of Visnagar in Mehsana district and the chief election officer for the polls, said. Vipul Chaudhary lost to Sardar Chaudhary by 13 votes from the Kheralu seat.
Vipul and his close associates, including the dairy’s incumbent vice-chairman Mogaji Chaudhary and managing director N J Baxi, are currently in judicial custody in connection with a Rs 14.8-crore bonus scam. Incumbent chairman of Dudhsagar dairy, Asha Thakor, is absconding.
On Tuesday, a total of 41 candidates were in the fray and 1,119 of the total 1,129 voters cast their votes from 9 am to 5 pm to elect the future board of directors. The ballot was counted later in the evening.
There are 20 board of directors at Dudhsagar Dairy of which four are nominated members and represent the Gujarat government, GCMMF, NDDB, and district cooperative bank. The election to the 16th seat was stayed by the union.
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