JD(S) makes a U-turn, to support anti-cow slaughter law

JD(S) makes a U-turn, to back BJP on anti-cow slaughter law

Now, however, the JD(S) has decided to join hands with the BJP to take control of the Legislative Council

The B S Yediyurappa administration is expected to table a Bill in the Council to replace the ordinance in the ongoing session of the legislature. Credit: AFP Photo

Senior JD(S) leader Basavaraj Horatti on Thursday said the regional party will support the controversial anti-cow slaughter Bill when it comes up for passage in the Legislative Council, Karnataka’s Upper House. 

The former prime minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda had, in December 2020, announced that his party will “completely oppose” the Bill, saying it would “create unrest in society” and “turn people’s lives upside down”. JD(S) legislature party leader H D Kumaraswamy, too, had opposed the Bill. 

Now, however, the JD(S) has decided to join hands with the BJP to take control of the Legislative Council. 

“Now, there’s no question of defeating the Bill,” Horatti told reporters when asked if the JD(S) will support the anti-cow slaughter Bill. “Naturally, whenever the government changes, it’s a question of the majority. If important Bills are there, they’ll be passed. The JD(S) and the BJP have a total of 43 members. We will support the Bill 100 per cent,” he said. 

The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly, but it was not tabled in the Legislative Council. This prompted the BJP government to promulgate an ordinance to give effect to this law. 

Also read — Karnataka anti-cow slaughter law effective from Jan 18

The B S Yediyurappa administration is expected to table a Bill in the Council to replace the ordinance in the ongoing session of the legislature.

On Wednesday, the JD(S) and the BJP decided to support each other in the 75-member Legislative Council. The BJP will support Horatti in becoming the chairperson. The BJP’s nominee for the deputy chairperson’s post will be M K Pranesh, who will receive JD(S) backing. 

The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance was promulgated on January 5 and given effect from January 18. The law imposes a blanket prohibition of slaughter of cows in the state.

The only slaughter allowed is of cattle suffering from contagious diseases or operated upon for experimental or research purpose and terminally-ill cattle. Also, buffalo above the age of 13 years can be slaughtered only with certification from a competent authority.

Under this, the slaughter of cattle will lead to imprisonment of up to three to seven years and a fine ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh. Subsequent offences will attract imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh. It also offers legal protection for "persons acting in good faith".

In December 2020, much to the Congress’ chagrin, the JD(S) voted in favour of the Karnataka Land Reforms Bill that proposed liberalising the ownership of agricultural landholdings. The Congress attacked the secular and pro-farmer credentials of the JD(S). 

The Congress will look to muster ammunition against the JD(S) over its latest stand on the anti-cow slaughter Bill, which it says is ‘anti-farmer’.