The Vadodara unit of the Congress party on Thursday staged a demonstration, demanding that the BJP-led Central government declare the cow as a national animal and impose the ban on cow slaughter across the country. The Congress leaders, flashing placards demanding Gauchar land for the cows, status of the national animal, and cow protection, sat in protest at the Gandhi Nagar Gruh in Vadodara.
According to the party leaders, the reason behind the protest is to ensure that the message of the Congress party reaches the people, who are being “swayed by BJP’s fake ideologies”. Spokesperson Shailesh Amin, who was part of the protest said, “The idea is to tell the people that the BJP has double standards. They have ministers and leaders who are talking about appeasing some populations with beef, and on the other hand they are harping about Gau Raksha. The statistics on the website of the Ministry of Commerce of the Union Government reveal that since Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister in 2014, sales of beef have increased by 16 per cent.”
For the Congress party, the protest is a way to “expose BJP’s lies”. Vadodara City unit chief Prashant Patel said, “The BJP is blaming the Congress for disrespecting the cow. Our protest is also symbolic as our party office has been stoned in Vadodara after the Kerala incident. These are acts orchestrated by the BJP, which has not yet brought in a standard law on beef ban across the country. We are telling the people that their narrative in this issue is flawed. The BJP must declare the cow as a national animal, protect it and also preserve it by giving it Gauchar lands.”
In Rajkot, GPCC President Bharat Solanki highlighted the seriousness with which Congress is demanding that the law on cow slaughter be enforced. Solanki stated that the first law of cow slaughter in Gujarat was enforced by a Congress Chief Minister Chhabildas Mehta.
Solanki said, “Cow is like a mother to all of us, we worship the cow. Our culture worships the cow. The first ever law against cow slaughter was brought in force by Chhabildas Mehta when he was the Congress Chief Minister in 1955. Even when the Una attack happened, we condemned cow slaughter. The party also suspended those involved in the Kerala slaughter incident. We demand strictest action against those indulging in cow slaughter. But the two-faced BJP is accusing the Congress of disrespecting the cow when its own Minister Kiren Rijiju is saying that no one can stop him (from eating beef). BJP candidate Shri Prakash says that vote for me and I will give you cheap and good beef. Their National Secretary Ram Madhav says that beef eating is a lifestyle and should not be linked to religion.”