BJP milks rural vote bank, hikes price by Rs 3

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Express News

Bangalore, 08 April 2010: Just two days after the ruling BJP swept the elections to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) has decided to increase the price of milk by Rs 3 a litre from Thursday.

The timing of the decision — right after the BBMP elections and before the gram panchayat polls — indicate that by re-introducing milk politics into the state the Yeddyurappa government is out to make a clean sweep of it.

There are 7 lakh registered milk producers with the Karnataka Co-operative Milk Producers’ Federation (KMF), most of whom are farmers from rural areas.

Wednesday’s move is sure to have an impact on the gram panchayat polls which are likely to be held in May, especially as the milk producers would get Rs 2.50 out of the increase of Rs 3 per litre of milk. Only 50 paise will be taken by the KMF.

The move is politically astute as it leaves the Opposition tongue tied. Having already lost the BBMP polls, scoring points with Bangalore’s urban populace will fetch them no benefits. Opposing the hike on the other hand could dent their prospects in the gram panchayat elections, especially as the BJP will lose no time in painting them anti-farmer.

Yeddyurappa had used milk politics effectively in the past against the JD(S) and the then KMF chairman H D Revanna.

By introducing a Rs 2 subsidy per litre of milk the BJP had captured the KMF, then firmly in Revanna’s hands.


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