K.S. Eshwarappa, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, has said that the issue of cow protection would be the main poll plank of the BJP for the Assembly elections.
If BJP comes to power in Karnataka, a law would be introduced to enforce a complete ban on illegal trafficking and slaughter of cattle, Mr. Eshwarappa said at a press conference here on Monday. During the previous BJP regime, the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation(Amendment) Bill was passed in the State legislature to ensure protection to cows that are worshipped in Indian culture. However, the Bill could not become a law owing to the non-cooperation of H.R. Bhardwaj, who was Governor then and the Congress leaders, he said.
The main priority of BJP would be to introduce a strict law to ban illegal slaughter of cattle and to shut down slaughterhouses where cows are culled against the law, he said. Illegal trafficking and culling of cattle had become rampant under the Congress rule in Karnataka. The failure of the Congress government to prevent the illegal business also resulted in law and order issues. He alleged that 21 Hindutva activists were killed by members of anti-national organisations in the last four years in Karnataka.
Replying to a query, he said the BJP was not against beef consumption. “Restrictions cannot be imposed on food culture. Our objective is to prevent the illegal trafficking and culling of cows,” he said.
Alleging that sexual atrocities against women had increased in Karnataka in the past four and a half years under Congress rule, he said that if BJP came to power, a strict anti-rape law would be put in place. He said Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh have a strict law against child rape. The drafts of these laws will be studied and a similar law would be introduced in Karnataka also. The religious heads of both Hindu and Muslim faiths had in the past demanded for introduction of strict laws to prevent illegal slaughtering of cattle and sexual atrocities against women.
When quizzed whether he would demand BJP leadership to offer tickets to the functionaries of Sangolli Rayanna Brigade, a non-political forum formed by him to contest the election, he said that, the brigade was formed to create awareness among the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes about their legal rights. Electoral politics was not the objective of the brigade, he said.