The Congress on Wednesday avoided taking a position on a Rajasthan High Court judge’s observation that the state government should take necessary steps to get the cow declared as the national animal. The CPM, meanwhile, continued its strident criticism of the Centre’s ban on sale and purchase of cattle for slaughter at animal markets.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the Centre’s notification was an “encroachment” on the powers of the states. His party colleague Brinda Karat said the notification is also “contempt” of the Supreme Court as it had stayed the Himachal Pradesh High Court’s order for a national ban on cow slaughter. Addressing a press conference, Yechury demanded that the notification be withdrawn.
At the AICC briefing, party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar skirted a question on the Rajasthan judge’s observation and instead said the media has become the light and sound department of the BJP government. On the issue of a PIL before the Rajasthan High Court regarding the death of cows at a government-run gaushala in Hingonia, Kumar said, “Will the Modi government dismiss the Vasundhara Raje government which is accused of killing cows… Our demand is to dismiss the government which is responsible for the death of 6,000 cows and file an FIR against the state government….Chief Minister and other ministers…They cannot protect cow. It is all a drama.”
Yechury, on the other hand, said the rights of states are being encroached upon. “This is a subject under the state list of the Indian Constitution. The Centre cannot promulgate any law or legislation on this,” he said. Brinda Karat, who addressed the press conference along with Yechury, said the Act concerning animal protection does not ban slaughter for consumption.