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Minister K Venkatesh does a volte-face
Retracts cow slaughter remark
In a major embarrassment to the fornight old Siddaramiah government one of his minister K Venkatesh has put his foot into his mouth and retracted the statement he made about Cow Slaughter. K. Venkatesh, Karnataka's Minister for Animal Husbandry, sparked controversy by stating that if buffaloes and oxen can be slaughtered, cows should also be allowed, another Cabinet minister presented a contrasting view on Monday, expressing his opposition to animal slaughter.
Ramalinga Reddy, a senior Congress leader and Minister for Transport, voiced his stance to reporters, stating, "No one has the right to take life as bestowed by the creator. I am against the killing of any animal. Every animal has the right to life."
When asked if he would convey his opinion during the Cabinet meeting, Reddy mentioned that he had shared his views with the media but would refrain from discussing them during the Cabinet session.
Reddy also claimed to be unaware of Minister Venkatesh's intentions behind his statement regarding animal slaughter.
Regarding the elections for Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), Reddy expressed his desire for them to be held at an appropriate time.
"During the tenures of S.M. Krishna and Siddaramaiah, the Congress governments conducted BBMP elections within a specific timeframe," he stated.
Reddy criticized the previous BJP government, stating that during their term, the BBMP election was delayed for two years and eight months.
"The Congress party is committed to decentralization of power and democracy, and we are determined to conduct elections," he added, highlighting that the BJP had not engaged in any discussions regarding Bengaluru's development with the opposition.
Earlier, on Saturday, Venkatesh mentioned in Mysuru that suitable action would be taken regarding the withdrawal of the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act after discussions.
"We will make a decision that benefits the farmers," he said.
Venkatesh revealed that he personally cared for three to four cows at his residence and recounted the challenges faced during the cremation of one of the deceased cows. He explained that despite the efforts of 25 people, they were unable to lift the body until a JCB was brought in.
He also clarified that there is a shortage of funds to manage gaushalas (cow shelters) in the state.
Hindu activists have criticized the remarks made by the Congress minister and warned of consequences if the state government withdraws the law on cow slaughter.
The previous BJP government had passed a bill prohibiting cow slaughter and imposing severe punishments for offenders.