Karnataka Sanghataney gala Okkuta, a pro-Kannada group protested against Karnataka Housing minister UT Khader in Bengaluru on Thursday. The protesters shouted slogans against the minister and condemned the proposal put forward by him.
On 6th October UT Khader had proposed to set up a slaughter house in place of an older one at Mangaluru in Dakshina Kannada district. The project is expected to cost Rs 15 crore .
This is what he said earlier, "Slaughter houses should be hygienic and it must not affect the health of people. So keeping these aspects in mind we've set aside funds to set up a slaughter house. Fifteen has been set aside from the funds."
Following the minister's proposal, many BJP leaders came out and opposed the project. BJP MLA from Karkala alleged that the government misused funds allotted for the smart city project.
"The district-in-charge minister has announced that 15 crore rupees will be set aside to set up a new slaughter house. We condemn it. Cow slaughter is on the rise. The government is using funds allotted for the smart city project to set up a slaughter house. There is a big conspiracy behind this proposal," Sunil Kumar, BJP MLA said.
The argument put forth by Khader is that the old slaughter house in Mangaluru is dilapidated and does not have adequate drainage facilities. He said that this is affecting the health of residents and also the consumers of the meat that's transported from the slaughter house.
The BJP, on the other hand, claims that cows are slaughtered in the center. They, therefore, claim its hurting the sentiments of Hindus in the region. Also, they claim that funds have been misappropriated in the making of the project. The JD(S) defended the minister's proposal. " The honourable minister's proposal is clear. They want to build a new slaughter house to improve hygiene and we welcome it. BJP is trying to communalize the issue keeping elections in mind," a leader from the ruling government said.
The BJP is known to have a strong presence in the Dakshina Kannada region. But with Lok Sabha polls around the corner, votes from the communally sensitive region will count for all the political parties. It would be interesting to watch what strategies the political party's will adopt to attract votes in the months to come.