Amid a row over the issue of cow slaughter and consumption of beef in the country, Sudin Dhavalikar, the Goa Transport Minister and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) leader on Wednesday said that his party will not keep quiet if cows are harmed. “Gau mata ko kucch bhi hua to hum awaz uthayenge, nahi to nahi (If any harm is caused to cow then we will raise our voice, otherwise not),” Dhavalikar said. MGP is part of the BJP-led coalition government in Goa. While seeking his reaction on the Centre’s notification banning sale and purchase of cattle in animal markets for slaughter, Dhavalikar was quoted by PTI as saying, “The question that you have asked, I won’t be able to answer but one thing is sure that we worship gau mata.”
Dhavalikar’s remark came in the wake of Sadhvi Saraswati’s statement over beef eating. Sadhvi had earlier said that the beef eaters should be hanged during a meet of various Hindu outfits in Goa. Her statement stoked a controversy with various political parties and social activists condemning it. Sadhvi said, “I request the government to hang those who eat beef as ‘status symbol’… They should be hanged in a full public view (Jo vyakti apne ma (gau mata) ka maas khaane ko apna status symbol maanta hai, aisi vyaktiyon ko Bharat sarkar se nivedan karti hoon, phaansi pe latkana chahiye. beech chaurahey pe latkana chahiye).”
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Earlier in the month of April, MGP had sought a complete ban on cow slaughter in the state. Then also Dhavalikar had said that as a party they supported total ban on cow slaughter in Goa and that there should not be any cow slaughter activity in the state. He demanded that the state should also shut operations of Goa Meat Complex Limited, where hundreds of cows are killed.