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Gujarat: BJP MLAs led by Ketan Inamdar back protest by milk unions

Inamdar, who has threatened an agitation beginning from Thursday, said that the "fight will continue" if the party does not intervene to resolve the issue.

By: Express News Service | Vadodara |
September 21, 2021 2:24:18 pm
Ketan Inamdar, who has threatened an agitation beginning from Thursday, said that the "fight will continue" if the party does not intervene to resolve the issue. (File)

Days after the leaders of Vadodara BJP held a meeting to call a truce between Savli MLA Ketan Inamdar and former Padra MLA and current chairman of Baroda Dairy Dinesh Patel over issues related to the dairy operations, Inamdar and other BJP MLAs — Shailesh Mehta of Dabhoi, Akshay Patel of Karjan and Madhu Shrivastav of Waghodia — have joined in support of the protesting milk unions that are demanding a raise in payment for milk procurement.

Inamdar, who has threatened an agitation beginning from Thursday, said that the “fight will continue” if the party does not intervene to resolve the issue.

On Tuesday, in a bid to end the embarrassing public disagreement between the factions of the party, Vadodara BJP leaders met at the circuit house in the city to discuss the issue with Inamdar, Mehta, and Shrivastav. A group of protesting milk unions also staged a demonstration at the Baroda Dairy headquarters in the Makarpura area of Vadodara city, under heavy police deployment.

However, after the police dispersed the crowd, Inamdar reached the circuit house along with representatives of the protesting milk producers. Inamdar, who is an appointed member of the Dairy, had recently written a letter to the chief minister, demanding a “fair rise in prices” paid to the milk unions after “talks with the board members of the Dairy did not yield results”.

Inamdar, who has given an ultimatum to the dairy and the party members until Thursday, said, “I have given them time till Thursday to address the issue. After that, we will start a ‘Halla Bol’ campaign. I have complete trust in the party leaders and they will intervene to resolve this issue and end this injustice against the milk producers. Why should they not get a fair benefit from the increase in the prices of milk? They did not allow us to protest at the Baroda Dairy, so we are sitting here at the circuit house peacefully. We will watch until Thursday and we are hopeful that a resolution will be reached.”

Shrivastav, Akshay Patel, and Shailesh Mehta also backed Inamdar’s demand, arriving at the circuit house in support. Mehta said, “all four MLAs of Vadodara district are united in this matter as it is in the interest of the milk producers.” Shrivastav added that the MLAs would take the protest to Gandhinagar if the district party leaders fail to bring about a “positive result”.

Vadodara MP Ranjan Bhatt said, “Ketanbhai has not started a protest at the circuit house. We are here to resolve the issue and discuss the concerns. The Baroda Dairy management will meet this evening and decide on the matter. Inamdar has already taken up the matter in the interest of the milk producers with the state BJP President CR Paatil and also with the chief minister. We have requested the Dairy board to meet and bring a resolution by tomorrow on the matter.”

Tuesday’s meeting comes just days after BJP leader Parakramsinh Jadeja and Bhatt mediated to end the cold war between Inamdar and Baroda Dairy chairman Dinesh Patel, who is also a former MLA of Padra constituency. At former Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s last visit to Padra, just two days before he stepped down, Patel had reportedly walked out of the room where Inamdar had arrived to meet Rupani and put forth the concerns regarding the issues of Baroda Dairy.

Jadeja said, “We will have good news for the milk producers union by Thursday morning. The best decision will be taken by the dairy board.”

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