MP planning ‘gaumata’ cess

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Bhopal/Agar Malwa: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Madhya Pradesh is planning to levy a cess to raise money for the welfare of the cow, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said on Sunday.

Addressing a public meeting in Agar Malwa, Chouhan invoked “Indian culture” while speaking about the “gaumata” tax.

“I am thinking of imposing some minor tax to raise money for the welfare of the ‘gaumata’ (cow) welfare and for the upkeep of cow sheds….Is it alright?” the BJP leader asked while the people replied in the affirmative.

“…We used to feed the first ‘roti’ (baked in households) to cows. Similarly, we used to feed the last roti to dogs. Such was the concern for animals in our Indian culture which is vanishing now, so we are thinking to collect some small tax from the public for the sake of cows,” Chouhan said. He said a law will be enacted to run cowsheds in the state.

“The society should also help the government in protecting cows. Earlier, agricultural farming was impossible without cows, but tractors have replaced such farming,” the Chief Minister added.

He lamented that people abandon cows once they are past the prime and stop giving milk. “Lakhs of cows are wandering on streets. They will get a shelter in sanctuaries,” the Chief Minister said.

In an apparent reference to anganwadi centres, he said a decision has been taken to provide cow’s milk, which is like “amrit” (nectar), instead of eggs to children. “This move will help cow-keepers and cowsheds to flourish,” Chouhan said.