After BJP cried foul over reports of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government scrapping the cow protection scheme- Govardhan Govansh Seva Kendra (GGSK), Congress issued an important clarification in this regard. Speaking to the media on Monday, Congress MLA and Textiles Minister Aslam Shaikh revealed that there was no question of scrapping the scheme. At the same time, he promised an inquiry if some irregularities surfaced. However, Maharashtra Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant claimed that funds for the scheme had been misused and benefits were given to people associated with RSS.
Aslam Shaikh remarked, "When BJP was in power, such kind of inquiries would happen. There is no question of scrapping the scheme pertaining to the protection of cows. We will take strict action if any irregularities come to the fore."
Shoot and scoot policy of @KiritSomaiya is long evident. Why put question mark? Whenever I accused Fadnavis govt, I did it with proofs. There is no stay on scheme but there will be an inquiry as there are complaints of misuse of funds and benefits given to only RSS connected ppl. https://t.co/96myMCdJYz— Sachin Sawant सचिन सावंत (@sachin_inc) 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. The scheme was expanded to the taluka level with the same budgetary allocation in the next year. This amounted to a grant of approximately Rs. 25 lakh per gaushala costing Rs.34 crore in total.