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‘I’m against slaughter of animals’, says K’taka minister

Bengaluru, June 5 (IANS) Two days after Karnataka Minister for Animal Husbandry, K. Venkatesh, stirred a row by stating that if buffaloes and oxen can be slaughtered, why cannot cows be, another Cabinet minister on Monday presented a contrasting viewpoint, saying he is against the slaughter of animals.

Senior Congress leader and Minister for Transport Ramalinga Reddy, speaking to reporters here, said: “The creator has given no rights to anyone to take life. I am against the killing of any animal. Every animal has a right to life.”

Asked if he would present his opinion in the Cabinet, Reddy said he did that with the media but would not discuss them in the Cabinet meeting.

Reddy also said “he did not know the intention behind the Minister for Animal Husbandry K. Venkatesh’s statement”.

He further said that he wanted the elections to Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to be held at an appropriate time.

“The Congress governments headed by S.M. Krishna and Siddaramaiah held the elections of BBMP within a timeframe,” he said.

Reddy said during the previous term of the BJP government, the BBMP election was not held for 2 years and eight months.

“The Congress believes in decentralisation of power and democracy. We are committed to conducting elections,” he said, adding: “The BJP did not hold any meeting over the development of Bengaluru with the opposition.”

Earlier, on Saturday, speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Venkatesh stated that suitable action will be taken on withdrawing the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act after discussions.

“A decision will be taken which is going to help the farmers,” he said.

Venkatesh said that he also nursed three to four cows at his residence.

“When one of the cows died, we struggled to cremate it. As many as 25 people came to lift the body but it was not possible. Later, a JCB was brought and the body was lifted,” he said.

He also clarified that there is a dearth of funds to manage gaushalas in the state.

Hindu activists have slammed the remarks made by the Congress minister, and warned him of consequences if the state government withdraws the law on cow slaughter.

The previous BJP government had passed a Bill banning cow slaughter and prescribing stringent punishment for the offenders.