New Delhi Correspondent
India’s Madhya Pradesh state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday announced a proposal to set up a cow ministry that would replace the existing board meant for promotion of the cattle.
Chouhan, Chief Minister of the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state for the last 15 years, made the announcement after a meeting with a Jain monk in Khajuraho town Fresh polls to Madhya Pradesh legislative assembly are expected next month.
It came a few days after BJP’s main rival Congress party state unit president Kamal Nath promised at a rally to set up cow shelters in every village panchayat because he was pained by the deaths of cows that often stray on the highways and get hit by vehicles.
“We have a Gau Samvardhan Board, but I thought it would be better if we have a cow ministry. The board has financial constraints, but with the ministry this would be gone,” Chouhan told the media.
Chouhan said that while cow shelters were a good idea, it would be great if cows were kept at every home. “If there was a gaushala in every home, where there were 2-3 cows, it has the potential to bring about a revolution.”
Hindu right wing groups have been demanding the setting up of a cow ministry.
Reacting to Chouhan’s plan, Congress alleged that the BJP did nothing for setting up cow shelters during its 15 years in power.
Madhya Pradesh set up the first cow sanctuary of the country in September last year at Agar Malwa district, spread over 472 hectares, with a capacity for housing 6,000 cows.
The announcements by both the BJP and the Congress are being seen as competitive bid for Hindutva politics of different varieties.