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Kurien seeks NDDB chief Amrita's sack

Indicating mismanagement of affairs in the NDDB, Kurien called for an inquiry by Joint Parliamentary Committee.
None | By Press Trust of India, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 21, 2006 09:57 PM IST

A day after he quit as Chairman of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation, Verghese Kurien on Tuesday attacked Amrita Patel.

Verghese wanted her to be removed as Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board.

"I do not think Patel can continue for long as Chairman of the National Dairy Development Board ... Because she has not performed satisfactorily," Kurien, credited with developing the modern dairy industry in the country, said.

"I am sure she would be replaced and someone more suited can be found," he told a television channel.

Kurien said under the NDDB Act Patel was to create cooperatives and not companies .... Cooperatives which are owned by producers of milk.

He said when he quit as Chairman of the NDDB, he had left behind Rs 4,000 crore in cash.

Indicating mismanagement of affairs in the NDDB, he called for an inquiry by a Joint Parliamentary Committee.

"Government has already ordered an inquiry, but it is taking a long time," he said.

Verghese Kurien, who resigned as head of Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation, has written letters to Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi seeking a high-level inquiry into the working of National Dairy Development Board headed by Amrita Patel.

"Kurien has written to Centre several times about the financial irregularities and the working of the NDDB in the past," an official close to Kurien said.

"He has written to Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, the Finance Minister and the Agriculture Minister regarding the working of NDDB (of which Kurien was a former chairman)," he said.

But he denied that the Kurien's letter to the Prime Minister was a fallout of his resignation on Monday as Chairman of the GCMMF.

"The last time he wrote a letter regarding NDDB was a month ago," the official said, adding that the government had failed to take any step against NDDB chairperson Amrita Patel inspite of Kurien writing to the ministries concerned several times.

Kurien in his letter has said Patel should be sacked from the chairmanship as she had "violated" the provisions of the NDDB Act.

He has also demanded that a high-level inquiry committee be instituted to probe into the alleged "shady" working of the NDDB.

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