On Monday, BJP slammed Shiv Sena over reports that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government is set to scrap the cow protection scheme initiated by the previous Devendra Fadnavis government. Former BJP Lok Sabha MP Kirit Somaiya termed this as another surrender by the Sena and maintained that this was aimed at appeasing the minorities. He reminded the Sena that it was a part of the government which launched the Govardhan Govansh Seva Kendra (GGSK) scheme. Somaiya also cited that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was known as ‘Gau pratipalak’ (protector of cows). He stated that the BJP was strongly opposed to the scheme being scrapped.
BJP’s Kirit Somaiya remarked, “Now, one more stay from Thackeray sarkar. One more surrender by Shiv Sena to their partner Congress and NCP just to please and appease the minorities. BJP-Shiv Sena government has launched a cow protection scheme. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was also known as Gau Pratipalak. Now that scheme is being scrapped. BJP strongly opposes all such moves.”
Another Stay!? 1 more surrender by Shivsena. Now Gauraksha Cow Protection Scheme being scraped by Thackeray Sarkar due to pressure from Congress NCP. This scheme was implemented by BJP/Shivsena Govt. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was also known as 'Gau Pratipalak' @BJP4Maharashtra— Kirit Somaiya (@KiritSomaiya) March 2, 2020
In 2015, the Devendra Fadnavis government had imposed a ban on sale and consumption of beef, making it punishable by a 5-year jail term and a fine of Rs.10,000. Thereafter, the GGSK scheme was launched in 2017 with an aim to set up permanent shelters in 34 districts for aged and unproductive cattle which the farmer could not afford to look after. This would ensure that such cattle were not abandoned.
Moreover, it intended to boost the infrastructure at gaushalas (cowsheds) set up to conserve, protect and develop cattle and progeny. The Maharashtra government made a one-time grant of Rs.1 crore to every gaushala in the state barring for Mumbai and its suburbs in 2018-19, the financial year in which the scheme officially commenced. As per sources, Congress and NCP are against the allocation of funds towards the protection of cows. Moreover, this is being perceived as an anti-BJP move as most gaushala functionaries are allegedly from the RSS.