Bengaluru: Karnataka Congress leaders on Friday dared the ruling BJP leaders to prove their “real commitment” of protecting cows by taking steps to ban beef export completely in the country, instead of adopting dual stands about cow slaughter ban in select states.
Addressing a joint press conference here, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah alleged that the BJP should have a single standard when it comes to matters like cow slaughter ban.
“The BJP’s stand on caw slaughter ban is diametrically opposite in Goa state to what the party has taken here. In both the states it is the ruling party,” he pointed out.
He said that the Congress party will surely have no problem if the BJP adopts same stand across the nation and who is stopping them from banning beef export completely?
He alleged that it is the BJP supporters who are among the leading beef exporters in the country, therefore, the BJP does not take a firm stand on such issues. “The very premise of moving the contentious Bill two days ago is clear, they want to play an emotional card in the ongoing two-phase gram panchayat polls slated for this month,” he said.
Quoting a prominent Hindu seer Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, Siddaramaiah said the beef exports have risen after Prime Minister Narendra Modi government came to power in 2014.
“So I demand, ban beef exports, bring uniform policy across the country,” he said and wondered as to why the BJP was bringing in such laws in select states. “In Goa, their own party is in power but do not talk a word about banning it, while in Karnataka, they have brought most draconian and unscientific’ Bill, why is this duplicity,” he questioned.
He added that in 2012-13 beef exports stood at 10.76 lakh tonnes and rose to 14.75 lakh tonnes in 2014-15 while it hovered over 13 lakh tonnes in the subsequent three years.
“Why the BJP has failed to control it? On one hand, you give permits for exports and encourage making money from it, on the other hand you bring in such laws without proper thinking,” he said adding if the ill effects were not addressed it will lead to economic problems, unemployment and farmer distress.
It may be recalled that the ruling BJP hurriedly tabled the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill – 2020 and was passed by the assembly on Wednesday, amid melee and stiff opposition from Congress, which eventually boycotted the remaining Legislature session.
The contentious Bill is yet to be tabled in the Legislative Council, which has been adjourned sine die, the state government is now mulling to give the shape of law by bringing it through ordinance route.
Terming the Bill as “draconian, unscientific and anti-farmer”, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D. K. Shivakumar demanded that Karnataka government purchase and protect all unproductive cattle from farmers to ease the pressure of nurturing these cattle instead burdening the farmer community.
Both Congress leaders also felt that if the Bill was implemented, it may legalise lynching.