Eighty four-year-old Kurien, who walked into Anand, suitcase in hand, in the late ’40s and built Amul into a towering edifice, was a sad man as he was helped off the dais on Monday. Already battling one protege, Dr Amrita Patel, who he helped instal as his successor and chairman of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Kurien was reportedly hit hard by the sudden desertion of B.M. Vyas, GCMMF MD and another of those he groomed. But the man didn’t go quietly. The Union finance ministry has ordered a probe into NDDB’s functioning in the light of allegations brought by Kurien.
Though he attributed his resignation to the Gujarat HC decision disallowing coopted members in the committees of state cooperatives, the real reason lies elsewhere. Eleven out of the 12 chairmen of district dairies (who constitute the GCMMF board) had moved a no-confidence motion (slated to come up in a March 24 meeting). Kurien did not want to suffer the humiliation. Also, one of the chairpersons had challenged his chairmanship. Needless to say, powerful forces were at work here, including a state minister. Kurien, who had been unanimously elected GCMMF chairman about three months ago, hinted as much when he asked what harm he could possibly have done within this short span.
Having quit as chairman of the NDDB and the National Dairy Cooperative Federation of India (NCDFI), he now holds only the chairmanship of the Institute of Rural Management (IRMA). Moves are afoot to oust him from there as well.