India's first cow minister defeated

India's first cow minister defeated

Otaram Dewasi

India's first cow minister, Otaram Dewasi, from Rajasthan lost his Sirohi seat in the Assembly elections to independent candidate Sanyam Lodha with a margin of 10,253 votes.

Dewasi bagged 71,019 votes, while Lodha got 81,272 votes. Dewasi is a Rabari, hailing from a pastoral community, and has natural love for the livestock, was made the first chairman of the Rajasthan Livestock Board.

In 2014, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje set up the gaupalan (Cow welfare) department, and Dewasi was appointed as the head. Later on, he was made the minister of the gaupalan department.

Dewasi contested his first election in 2008 from Sirohi and has represented the constituency for two straight terms. He has been mentored by former chief minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Interestingly, when Shekhawat contested from Bali constituency, Dewasi garnered support for him from his Rabari community.

Besides being a full-time politician, Dewasi is the 11th generation priest of the Chamunda temple in Mundara, about 100km from Sirohi city.