Amid protests against a Karnataka minister’s statement seeking a review of the stringent anti-cow slaughter law, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the issue would be discussed in a cabinet meeting.
Siddaramaiah said the law brought by the previous BJP government lacked clarity and the state government would discuss it in the cabinet meeting.
But he said that no decision has been made yet. “We will discuss it in the cabinet. We have not decided anything yet,” he said.
Earlier, Karnataka’s Animal Husbandry Minister K Venkatesh had sparked controversy by saying – “If buffalo can be slaughtered, why not cows?”
“The previous BJP government brought a bill. In it they allowed buffalo slaughter, but said cow should not be slaughtered. We will discuss it and take a decision,” he said while addressing the media.
Mr. Venkatesh also suggested that culling older cows could help address the challenges faced by farmers in cattle management.
For the past two days, the BJP has staged state-wide protests against the minister’s speech.
Former Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai condemned Mr. Venkatesh’s remarks in a series of tweets and asked Siddaramaiah to give his colleague “proper advice”.
“Animal Husbandry Minister K Venkatesh’s statement is shocking. We condemn his statement. We Indians have an emotional connection with cows and worship them as mothers,” Mr. Bommai said.
“Congress has no good reason to scrap the cow slaughter bill. Congress is going against the sentiments of Hindus. They are trying to destroy communal harmony. All they want is peace,” said BJP MLA Aswath Narayan.
The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act imposes a blanket ban on cattle slaughter in the state. Only sick cattle and buffaloes above 13 years of age are allowed to be slaughtered.