1000 Gaushalas in Madhya Pradesh : Practical target or a Political gimmick?

“Cows are auspicious and sacred and the bequeathers of every blessing.”

– Bhagavad Gita

Cows have always been the sacred animal and prominent symbol of worship for the Hindus. In recent times, they have secured a significant ‘place’ in Indian politics. There’s always an allegation on Congress party of favouring Muslims and BJP doesn’t miss any chance to project them as ‘Muslim party’. However, to deny all such allegations Congress chooses to slide towards the ‘soft – Hindutva’. Congress leader and then Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Kamal nath had promised that their party will make 1000 Gaushala (shelter for stray cows) in 4 months.

Congress “Vachan Patra”

State elections were crucial for both BJP and Congress as they both knew the results of state election will affect the results of coming General elections. Congress has always been alleged to down the line support the Muslims and this has somewhere enraged its Hindu supporters. Madhya Pradesh where, recently assembly elections were held is the place of 90% Hindu voters and to woo the Hindu voters Congress played it’s soft hindutva card and promised to make 1000 Gaushala in his “Vachan Patra” (election manifesto). Mr. Nath discussed in one of his interviews that during his rallies what he witnessed – the condition of stray cows, was miserable. Earlier the setting up of cowshelters wasn’t part of their manifesto but when he witnessed the pitiable condition they decided to set up cowsheds. Nath tweeted,

“Pradesh ki har panchayat mein ‘gaushala’ banayenge. Ye ghoshna nahi, vachan hai (We will build a gaushalas in every panchayat. This is a promise, not an announcement).

The Congress led government has announced the setting up of 1000 Gaushala and these will be setup in next four months which will accommodate 1 lakh stray cows. These Gaushalas will be built in every panchayat of the state. The agencies have been given strict orders to complete the project at earliest.

Agencies for project

The government is constantly insisting on this project because despite of 614 private gaushalas, there is not a single government-run gaushala in the state.

While the project will be headed by the Rural Development Department, the self-help groups, gram panchayats, organisations associated with State cow protection board will co-operate with the government in this project. The project will be implemented by the District level committee headed by collectors. Addition to this the Chief Minister said the gaushalas not only provide shelter to stray animals but also generate employment opportunities in every panchayat.

“‘Project Gaushala’ would provide relief from stray cattle menace in urban and rural areas. In addition, homeless animals will find shelter. This will also create employment opportunities in rural areas,” – said Nath

The deputy speaker also talks about the economic benefits from these gaushalas he echoes, “When you have a gaushala you will also have dung and urine. Why let it go waste? When gaumutra is purchased for pesticides why not sell it?

Reactions against the ‘Action’

It seems like BJP doesn’t want to miss any chance to target Congress and they are constantly charging Congress of playing ‘soft-hindutva’ card. Denying all the claims of BJP, Kamal nath said BJP only talk about this. He further added “I think with the deep respect that we have for cows, it is important to have a gaushala in every panchayat. What is religious about it? It is our sentiment, it is our belief. There is nothing wrong in it. The BJP will say it is Hindutva but are they the authority of the Hindu religion? Have they taken up distribution of Hindu religion? We are as religious as them,

Fulfillment of electoral promises has begun from Congress side. Let’s see what more they have to give to Madhya Pradesh.

Sources: Times of India, Economic times, India today

Image Credits: Zee News

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