JD(S) to back anti-cow slaughter bill in Council: party MLC Horatti

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Bengaluru, Jan 27 (PTI) Senior JD(S) MLC Basavarj Horatti on Thursday said his party will support the contentious anti-cow slaughter bill in the Karnataka Legislative Council, where it is yet to be tabled.

This is contrary to the regional party's earlier stand to oppose the bill.

Both JD(S) patriarch H D Deve Gowda and his son H D Kumaraswamy, who is the legislature party chief, had repeatedly said they are opposed to the anti-cow slaughter bill.

'Now, theres no question of defeating the bill,' Horatti told reporters in response to a question about JD(S) supporting the bill.

'Naturally, in the council whenever the government changes, its a question of the majority.If important bills are there, theyll be passed...JD(S) and the BJP have a total of 43 members (in the 75-member Council), so no question of defeating the bill.We will support the bill 100 per cent,' he said.

This statement by Horatti about supporting the bill comes a day after JD(S) joined hands with the ruling BJP for the Legislative Council Chairman and Deputy Chairman post.

As per the arrangement, the BJP will support the JD (S) for the Chairman post, while the regional party will return the favour by ceding the Deputy Chairman post.

While Horatti will most likely be the JD(S) candidate for the Chairman post, BJP's nominee M K Pranesh today filed his nomination for the Deputy Chairman post.

According to sources, the ruling BJP agreed to support JD(S)' Horatti for Chairman post, in return for the regional party's support to its no-confidence motion to oust incumbent Chairman K Pratapachandra Shetty of the Congress and passage of certain key bills, including the land reforms bill.

The government last month had promulgated the anti- cow slaughter ordinance that provides for punishment for killing of cattle and offers protection to those 'acting in good faith' to save them, as the bill to this effect is yet to be cleared by the Legislative Council.

Under the ordinance, slaughter of cattle will lead to imprisonment of up to 3 to 7 years and a fine ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh, and subsequent offences will attract imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

According to it, cattle is defined as a cow, calf of a cow, bull and bullock of all ages and 'he or she buffalo below the age of 13 years', while beef has been defined as the flesh of the cattle in any form.

The government had to opt for the ordinance route, as the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill that was passed by the Assembly last month amid din with stiff opposition from the Congress, has not yet been approved by the Legislative Council.

The Council was adjourned sine die even before the bill was tabled there for passage.

For a bill to become law, its passage in the Council, followed by assent by the Governor is necessary.

According to sources, BJP, which had hurriedly tabled the bill and ensured its passage in the Assembly during the winter session, did not table it in the Council sensing that the numbers were not in its favour with combined opposition- Congress and JD(S)- against it, and may refer it to the joint select committee. PTI KSU BN WELCOME BN WELCOME