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Uttarakhand CM denies saying cow killers can’t live in India

Uttarakhand CM denies saying  cow killers can’t live in India
Highlights

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday denied saying that those who kill cows have \"no right to live in the country.\"

Statement runs contrary to the stand of his Congress party, which has strongly protested against recent incidents and pronouncements linked to cow slaughter amid a swirling debate on "intolerance" in the country

Haridwar: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat on Friday denied saying that those who kill cows have "no right to live in the country."

"I cannot speak such nonsense. The statement has been falsely attributed to me. I attended the function in which I talked about our measures to promote cow protection by linking it to the economy of poor people," Rawat told NDTV.

The Chief Minister, a veteran Congress leader, had been quoted by the Press Trust of India as saying at a function in Haridwar on Tuesday: "Anyone who kills cows, no matter which community he belongs to, is India's biggest enemy and has no right to live in the country."

The statement runs contrary to the stand of his Congress party, which has strongly protested against recent incidents and pronouncements linked to cow slaughter amid a swirling debate on "intolerance" in the country.

"The nation is waiting to see what Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have to say. The Congress has vociferously expressed their opinion to anything to do with cow slaughter," the BJP's Nalin Kohli said.

Rawat has since disowned the statement. Last month, ML Khattar, the Chief Minister of BJP-ruled Haryana, had backtracked after appearing to suggest that Muslims in the country must give up beef. "Muslims can stay, but in this country they will have to give up eating beef. The cow is an article of faith here," Mr Khattar was quoted by a newspaper as saying.

Khattar later amended that all he meant was "we should show respect for each other's sentiment."

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