Tabling of cow slaughter Bill stalled in Assembly

Opposition parties in the Assembly on Wednesday vehemently opposed the controversial Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Cattle Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2012, and successfully prevented the government from tabling it in the House.

The combined Opposition - the Congress and the JD(S) - tore copies of the Bill and raised slogans against the government as Animal Husb­andry Minister Revu Naik Belamagi tried to table the Bill.

The JD(S) members trooped into the well of the House and staged a dharna.
The Bill proposes to enlarge the definition of cow, so as to include bull and bullock and enhance penalties for violation of its provisions.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah termed the Bill draconian and demanded voting in the House on tabling it. He alleged that the Bill targeted the minority community. The ruling party members went on the offensive, leading to an uproar in the House.
There was heated exchange of words as the two sides tried to defend their stand on the issue.

Interestingly, the ruling party appeared divided on the issue. Except for Belamagi, all those associated with the Karnataka Janata Party, including Shobha Karandlaje, chose to remain neutral.

Some of the ruling party members were seen counting MLAs on their side so as to prepare for the division. But Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister S Suresh Kumar argued against the division.

Pending before Prez

Senior Congress leader T B Jayachandra contended that the Bill could not even be tabled. He said another Bill pertaining to ban on cow slaughter was pending before the President of India.

The Opposition members also found that the Kannada version of the Bill distributed in the House had a typo.

It was mentioned as the 2011 Bill, instead of 2012, causing embarrassment to Speaker K G Bopaiah and officials of the Assembly secretariat.
To put an end to the issue, the Speaker decided to put off tabling of the Bill.

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