Even as the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill, 2010, is pending Presidential assent, the government on Thursday passed the controversial Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2012 without debate on the last day of the legislature session in Belgaum.
The amendment to the 1964 legislation, now passed, includes several provisions that the State government had proposed as part of the Bill now pending before the President. Among other things, it expands the definition of ‘cow’ to include bull and bullock in the category.
Janata Dal (Secular) floor leader in the Legislative Council M.C. Nanaiah said that his party leaders would be meeting Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to urge him not to approve the Bill in the light of the fact that legislation on similar lines was still pending approval.
“The entire exercise is directed against one community and furthers the Hindutva agenda,” said Mr. Nanaiah.
K.L. Ashok, State secretary of the Komu Sauharda Vedike, which was part of the agitation against the legislation, said that it was “anti-minority in its intent and anti-farmer in its effect”.
He said that while it would hit the food culture of minority communities and a section of the Hindu community, it would also prevent farmers from selling cattle once they are unfit for farming.
Mr. Ashok said that the Karnataka Janata Paksha, led by the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, should clarify its stand on the Bill. “Mr. Yeddyurappa and his party members have been making efforts to project themselves as ‘secular’ and they should spell out their stand on the issue,” he said, adding that the legislation was first proposed when Mr. Yeddyurappa was Chief Minister. The Beef Merchants’ Association, Karnataka, has condemned the manner in which the BJP government has passed the anti-cattle slaughter Bill.
Speaking to The Hindu, association president Aijaz Khuraishi wondered how the BJP government could have passed the Bill when the earlier piece of legislation was pending Presidential assent.