'K'taka farmers hurt by anti-cattle slaughter law'

Karnataka farmers in distress due to draconian anti-cattle slaughter law: Gundu Rao

Gundu Rao asked why beef was banned in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh but allowed in other states

Karnataka Congress president and AICC official in-charge of Goa Dinesh Gundu Rao. Credit: DH File Photo

"Karnataka's new anti-cattle slaughter law is so draconian, that farmers do not even want to possess cattle anymore and they are too bankrupt to feed them once they age and cannot be put to plough," former Karnataka Congress president and AICC official in-charge of Goa Dinesh Gundu Rao said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji, Rao also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of being hypocritical over the issue of beef, pointing out to contrasting positions taken by the party in Karnataka and Goa, two neighbouring states.

"So what will the farmer do with that? If you keep it, then you have to take care of it. To take care of it, the farmer needs money, he needs fodder. So the government should have given some money to the farmers in Karnataka, they have not done," the All India Congress Committee official also said.

Rao also said that if the BJP really believes in preventing cattle slaughter, it should enact one law across the country and ban the export of beef.  

"Why ban beef in Karnataka, why ban it in Uttar Pradesh, why ban it in Madhya Pradesh and allow it in other state. Why should Goa CM say I want to get more beef (for his people)? Isn't he a BJP Chief Minister,"(sic) Rao said.

"Modi should have one policy then. Let them ban export of beef. UP, where Yogi Adityanath is CM, is the biggest exporter of beef in the country. How is that happening? It is all hypocrisy, it is very unfortunate," Rao also said.

Beef is a regularly consumed in Goa and is served in restaurants in the coastal fringes of the state, which are frequented by nearly eight million tourists every year.

More than 25 tons of beef is consumed in Goa every day, most of which has been imported from Karnataka's Belagavi district. The state's only legal facility for animal slaughter, the Goa Meat Complex has been virtually non-functional for the last several months.

The non-availability of beef, especially ahead of Christmas and the festive season when demand for the red meat peaks, has created anxiety among Goa's Christians who account for around 26 per cent of the state's population. Along with Muslims, the minority communities account for more than 30 per cent of Goa's population.