More states and opposition parties on Tuesday joined the battle against the Centre’s new rules on cattle, with Karnataka Law Minister T B Jayachandra calling the notification “anti-Constitution” and an “attempt to encroach upon powers of states”, and Puducherry CM V Narayansamy saying he will not implement the order. In Mumbai, NCP chief Sharad Pawar called the notification a “gross injustice” to farmers. “Either the government should set up an ashram (asylum) to feed old cattle or pay farmers a monthly compensation for feeding old cattle,” he was quoted by PTI.
This comes on a day West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asked state officials to not abide by the notification, and Tamil Nadu’s main opposition party DMK condemned both the Centre’s move and the “indifference” of the AIADMK government in the state. The DMK said its working president M K Stalin will lead an agitation in Chennai on Wednesday.
Leading opposition forces in Tamil Nadu came together and asked the Centre to withdraw the notification. In a joint statement, seven parties — DMK, CPI, CPI(M) and Dalit party VCK, among others — said the new rules will sabotage India’s plural and secular values.
In Bengaluru, Jayachandra said he briefed the state Cabinet about the Centre’s new rules and the state would decide its stand at the next Cabinet meeting. “The rules framed under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act overlap provisions of the state Act, and also contradict the central Act…they will not stand the test of law,” he was quoted by PTI. He said the rules can be questioned by “anyone” in a court of law.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said his government is analysing the developments and called the whole issue a “state subject”. Addressing an administrative meeting at Barrackpore in West Bengal, Banerjee told officials, “Do not abide by the Centre’s notification unless the state government enacts a law (on it). If anyone creates trouble, police must take action…What one will eat is one’s choice. No one has the right to dictate it.”
Similarly, Narayansamy said in Puducherry, “Let us decide what to eat. You (Centre) have no right to dictate us. We will not implement this order.” In Chennai, Tamil Nadu Congress chief S Thirunavukkarasar asked, “Why has the (state) government taken no stand? Are they afraid of BJP?” On CM Edappadi Palaniswami’s silence, CPI state secretary R Mutharasan said, “The CM had said he would read (Centre’s notification) and comment on it. But it has been three days, and there’s no comment. Is he still reading it?”
Actor-politician Seeman’s Nam Thamizhar Katchi organised a beef festival at Chennai’s Villivakkam bus stand in protest. In Coimbatore, PMK leader and Lok Sabha MP Anbumani Ramadoss also criticised Palanisamy for remaining a “mute spectator”, PTI reported. Tamil Nadu Law Minister C Ve Shanmugam said the government will inform the Centre about the possible impact of the order on people’s lives. “We will register our opposition like we did in Jallikattu issue,” he said.
With PTI inputs