Days after his intervention led to the Madhya Pradesh government shelving a proposed slaughterhouse near a temple on the outskirts of Bhopal, senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh Saturday wrote to Chief Minister Kamal Nath requesting him to modernize and expand the existing slaughterhouse.
The BJP government had finalized a place near Aadampur Chhavani, following National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order that the slaughterhouse functional in Jinsi locality of the old city for decades be shifted outside the limits of Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC).
On September 21, Singh wrote to his son and urban development minister Jaivardhan Singh, saying that religious feelings of lakhs of devotees were hurt because the new slaughterhouse is located close to Kankali temple to which the minister paid heed and promptly shelved the proposal.
In his letter to Kamal Nath, the Congress leader argued that the existing location did no damage to environment and that many people want the slaughterhouse to remain in the same place. He said he will approach the NGT as an intervener and requested the CM to issue a notice to authorities concerned to file an appeal seeking six months’ time to modernize the slaughterhouse.
The proposed closure of the existing slaughterhouse had been opposed by meat sellers who argued their livelihood was at stake because shifting the slaughterhouse several kilometers away, will drive them out of business. A section of the majority community, including BJP legislators, wanted it to be shifted arguing that they can’t stand the sight of blood and meat from a facility located within the city.
The Congress veteran also advised the government to open a modern gaushala at Aadampur Chhavni to house cows since there are many religious places near Kankali temple.
Just a day earlier, Singh had asked the CM to ensure that cows squatting on highways be shifted to gaushalas to stop them from falling prey to road accidents. “If you could do so immediately you will be counted among true gaubhakt,” he said. Nath responded to Singh’s tweet late in the evening, with a series of tweets detailing the steps he had taken for cow welfare while reminding him that “cow is a matter of faith and pride for him, not politics.”