Bengaluru : Amid protests by the Congress and JD(S) legislators, the ruling BJP in the Karnataka legislative council on Monday passed the contentious anti-cow slaughter Bill, just a day before the council chairman elections where senior MLC Basavaraj Horatti is contesting as the BJP-JD(S) coalition candidate.
The anti-Cow slaughter Bill is officially termed as the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation and Protection of Cattle Bill 2020, and the passage of the Bill will help the ruling party replace the ordinance that was passed on January 8.
The Bill, already passed by the Assembly during the winter session in December last year, was put to vote by Deputy Chairman of the council, M.K. Pranesh.
With this, slaughtering of nearly all cattle – bull, ox, bullock, buffalo and cow – is now illegal in Karnataka.
For the Bill to become a law, its passage in both Houses followed by assent of the Governor is necessary. As the same Bill was approved in the form of ordinance by the Governor last month, it is likely to get the Governor’s nod shortly.
Karnataka Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chauhan tabled the Bill for consideration of the Upper House on Monday. During the discussion, several Congress and JD(S) MLCs termed it as anti-farmer, and some of them even tore the Bill besides claiming that it is aimed at targeting certain sections of people. They also demanded that the Bill should be withdrawn or be referred to the joint select committee for vetting.
“With the Act coming into effect, the efforts for conservation would gain strength,” Chauhan said.
After the members of the Congress and the JD(S) trooped into the well opposing the Bill, it was passed through voice vote as the BJP had the higher numbers in the House.
Opposing the Bill, veteran Congress leader B.K. Hariprasad said that this law will not help anyone, neither the farmers nor the common people. “You (BJP) seem to be giving jobs to unemployed VHP and Bajrang Dal workers,” he said.
Intervening at this juncture, state Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the Congress believes in killing cows whereas the BJP believes in saving them.
“Unlike you people, we are the saviours of our culture and rituals,” he said.
Hailing the passage of the Bill, Revenue Minister R. Ashoka said that he was ‘truly blessed’ to witness such a ‘holy event’.
“We have realised the unfulfilled dream of Mahatma Gandhi by passing this Bill. Once Congress had cow and calf as its symbol, but after it changed to the hand symbol, it started helping cow slaughter in the country,” he said.
Rebutting both the ministers, Hariprasad said that he too loved cows as several communities in the state, including his own, start their married life by pouring cow milk to solemnise marriages. “Do not teach us what it takes to love an animal. You should accept that this Bill is aimed at creating communal disturbances,” he said.
He also dared the BJP to come out with a law to ban fishing or eating pork. “Both fish and boar are directly associated with Lord Vishnu. Why have you not thought of banning the consumption of these meats,” he asked.
Congress MLC C.M. Ibrahim said that Karnataka is not like Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh. “Do not add communal colour to this Bill. Give us time, I will invite all mosque heads. Let’s discuss the issue. Refer this Bill to the joint select committee,” he suggested.
Ibrahim added that the government should consider discussing the matter with the farmers too.