Taking a swipe at self-proclaimed cow vigilantes, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said they should try to take care of stray cattle and that he is against use of the cow slaughter issue to divert attention from pressing matters. He also said that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is “very sensitive” and the Central government should take all political parties on board and try to resolve the issue.
Responding to a question on the cow protection drive by BJP and groups linked to it after the Lok Samvad programme here, Nitish said: “While a few stray cattle can be seen on Bihar roads, one can see cattle in large numbers on the roads of UP. Gau rakshaks should try to take care of and feed stray cattle, as most of them die of consuming polythene or in road accidents. There is a need to show sensitivity towards animals”.
The CM further told reporters that there was already a law in Bihar that prohibits cow slaughter (barring the slaughter of diseased cows, bulls or calves or those aged 15 years or more). “Anyway, the people of Bihar do not have the mentality to slaughter cows,” he said.
Nitish said the Patna district administration will soon launch an initiative to provide shelter to stray cows. In a veiled attack on BJP, he said: “Gohatya ke naam par agar yeh mansikta hai ki mool samasyaon se logon ka dhyan hataya jaaye to hum iske khilaf hai (If there is a mentality to digress people’s attention from basic issues on the pretext of cow slaughter, I am against it)”.
On the Kashmir situation, he said, “The Centre should take all parties along and take an initiative. Kashmir is an integral part of India and PoK too is part of the country”.
The Bihar CM reiterated that the Opposition should field its candidate for the Presidential election if there was no consensus on the matter.