Bharatiya Janata Party MP and national executive member Kirit Somaiya, who led a delegation of Maharashtra MPs to the President to get the nod for the Maharashtra law banning cattle slaughter, said: “Only the States can initiate this. It is a State subject and local conditions and compulsions have to be kept in mind.” The BJP’s manifesto in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections promised: “Necessary legal framework will be created to protect and promote cow and its progeny.”
Rajasthan already has a 1995 law against the slaughter of bovine animals but the BJP has accused successive Congress State governments of not implementing it.
The maximum punishment under the 1995 law is imprisonment up to two years. In Bihar, a 1955 legislation law allows slaughter of bulls and bullocks above the age of 15 years. The maximum imprisonment for those violating the law is six months in prison.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said cow slaughter and exports were never allowed in the country and the BJP was trying to politicise the issue. “Why are these governments doing this? What twist do they want to give? The government should clarify its policy.”
The “preservation, protection and improvement of stock and prevention of animal diseases, veterinary training and practice” is included in the State List of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.