With the B S Yediyurappa-led BJP government all set to introduce a bill prohibiting cattle slaughter in Karnataka, beef traders and Muslim community leaders met Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah on Tuesday. Insisting that the move will affect their livelihoods, the delegation highlighted a blanket ban on cow slaughter and prohibition of import and export of beef will have devastating effect on those dependent on it. After the meeting, Siddaramaiah said, the Congress party will oppose any bill that affects the livelihood of people.
“The animal husbandry minister has said that he will introduce a bill banning cow slaughter. Worried that the bill will cause losses and impact their livelihood, Muslim community leaders met me.
Why isn’t this bill being introduced in Goa where BJP is in power? Why only Karnataka? If this issue comes up during the session, we will oppose it,” he said. Recalling his days as a farmer, Siddaramaiah said, “Does the BJP know how much it costs to care for aged cattle? Farmers should leave aged cattle at BJP leaders’ doorsteps.”
He said that the anti-conversion law, being mulled by the government, too is unconstitutional and will be opposed. “Constitution does not allow such a law. Any individual above the designated age is free to marry whoever he/she wants, irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Karnataka and Allahabad High Courts have said such laws have no credence, yet the government is trying to make this into a law. It reeks of a sinister ploy,” he said.