With the BJP government apparently projecting cow protection as a key concern, BJP President Amit Shah has said the Narendra Modi government is planning on introducing a new ministry for cows.
The Telegraph quoted Shah saying that “there are many recommendations about a cow ministry. A discussion (about the matter) is on.” The BJP chief said this while he was in Lucknow earlier this week. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was present with Shah at the press conference
According to the report, Shah’s comments came he was asked whether the Centre might accept the demand for such a ministry from cow vigilantes, who have attacked and lynched several Muslims since the BJP came to power in May 2014.
However, Shah did not specify what the mandate for the said ministry would be.
According to the report, it was Yogi Adityanath, who first asked for such a ministry, requesting Prime Minister Modi in 2014. He has been championing a ‘save the cow’ campaign.
The cow has been a key political tool ever since Narendra Modi took to power. The Centre and states have already introduced several measures for “cow protection.” Modi had promised a national ban on cow slaughter. In April, the home ministry came out with plans to assign a unique identification number, Aaadhar, to cows. Gujarat raised the sentence for cow slaughter to a life term in jail.
The Centre had also introduced a nation-wide ban on the sale of cattle for slaughter. But it was stayed by the apex court later. The majority of the state, except a few, have also banned cow slaughter.
BJP-ruled Rajasthan is the first Indian state to have a minister in charge for the welfare of cows.
Ever since the BJP government rode to power at the Centre, several people from Dalit and Muslim communities were brutally assaulted and even killed in the name of “cow protection.” Attack by the self-styled cow vigilantes over suspicion of beef consumption has seemingly become the new normal in India under Modi.
The issue has plagued the monsoon session of Parliament with the opposition particularly not letting Lok Sabha proceedings continue without a debate on the matter.