In Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot hopes to outdo BJP on Gaumata

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New Delhi | Published: January 22, 2019 12:11:32 PM

Congress government led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is looking to go one up against his predecessor when it come to Gauraksha.

Ashok Gehlot, rajasthanAshok Gehlot

Arguing that the cow holds special religious significance for Indians, the newly elected Congress government led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot is looking to go one up against his predecessor when it come to Gauraksha. The erstwhile BJP government had formed country’s first dedicated Gopalan Ministry, during its tenure. The Congress had promised in its manifesto that it will increase grants for cow shelters, ensure state-of-the-art facilities and solve the problem of stray cows and conserve local breeds.

With the Lok Sabha elections approaching, the Congress looks set to compete with the BJP on an issue that has been in the news in the state on more than one occasion. Speaking to The Indian Express, Pramod Bhaya, Minister for Gopalan, that no other animal is facing as much difficulty as the cow today. “Stray cattle in a very big issue at present and it is our moral responsibility to make necessary arrangements for them and to also promote them.”

The minister said he also raised the issue of stray cattle at a recent Cabinet meeting. Bhaya plans to organise a conference of all registered cow shelters in Jaipur in coming days. “After cows stop producing milk, they are abandoned. We are hoping to raise this question with all stakeholders in the conference and seek suggestions from social workers and sants,” he told the paper.

In its manifesto before recently concluded Assembly polls, the Congress had promised to raise grants for cow shelters, state-of-the-art facilities. The party had also pledged to solve the problem of stray cows.

When the minister was asked on the sustainability of government-funded gaushalas given the debt burden in the state, he said he was optimistic. “The first scheme of providing grants to cow shelters started when Gehlotji was the chief minister in his last tenure. It is also his thought that good work should be done for the welfare of cows by the current government.”

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During its time, the BJP government in Rajasthan BJP had levied a 20 per cent surcharge on liquor to fund cattle welfare. When asked whether the Congress government would continue the same, Bhaya did not comment, saying that the matter was not related to him.

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