Union Minister of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries Parshottam Rupala on Tuesday asked the Congress if it wanted to start its term in Karnataka with a nod to cow slaughter, amid reports that the Siddaramaiah government may revisit the law banning it in the State.
Mr. Rupala, who addressed a press conference at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi over nine years of the Narendra Modi government, said Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and senior leader Sonia Gandhi should clarify their stand on the issue. “Do they [Congress] want their government to start its tenure with cow slaughter?” Mr. Rupala said.
Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister K. Venkatesh recently said that the State government may revisit the anti-cow-slaughter law. Asked about it, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the Cabinet would discuss the matter.
Mr. Rupala said once the Congress government took a stand, the Union government would take cognisance of the issue. He said the development had brought to the fore “the mindset of the Congress”.
Lauding the Union government’s initiatives in the sector he is overseeing, the Minister said the entire expenditure on fisheries from Independence to 2014 was ₹3,860 crore, but now one scheme alone, the Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana, had a budget of ₹20,500 crore and an additional fund of ₹8,000 crore had been created to fill in the infrastructure gap to boost the industry along India’s coastline.
He noted that it was Mr. Modi who showed the foresight and courage to create a separate Ministry for this. Animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries are the backbone of the rural economy, Mr. Rupala said.
The Union government also launched mobile veterinary units and supported States by funding 60% of recurring costs, he said, lauding the dispensation for its nationwide vaccination programme for bovines that helped remove many diseases.