Madhya Pradesh to have `cow cabinet'

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(Eds: adding quotes) Bhopal, Nov 18 (PTI) The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has decided to set up a 'gau cabinet' for the protection and promotion of the cow, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on Wednesday.

Opposition Congress said the BJP has forgotten its election promise of creating a separate cow ministry.

'It has been decided to constitute a `gau cabinet' for the protection and fostering of godhan (cow and its progeny) in the state,' Chouhan tweeted in Hindi.

Ministers of Animal Husbandry, Forest, Panchayat and Rural Development, Revenue, Home and Farmers' Welfare departments will be part of this cabinet, he said.

'The first meeting will be held at 12 noon on November 22 to mark Gopashtami at Gau Sanctuary in Agar Malwa,' he added.

Necessary orders for the constitution of the cow cabinet have been issued, officials said.

Besides Chouhan, the cabinet will include Home Minister Narottam Mishra, Forest Minister Vijay Shah, Agriculture Minister Kamal Patel, Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Mahendra Singh Sisodia and Minister for Animal Husbandry Prem Singh Patel.

Six departments will execute the decisions of the gau-cabinet in a coordinated manner, Chouhan said in a statement later.

An action plan will be implemented for increasing the use of cow dung cakes (`kanda'). The making and marketing of Gau-Kasht (cow-wood) is being encouraged at present, similarly efforts will be made to market other products made from cow milk, he said.

State Congress chief Kamal Nath said that Chouhan did not keep his promise made before the 2018 Assembly elections.

'Shivraj Singh, who announced the formation of a separate cow ministry (department) in the state before the 2018 assembly elections, is now talking about setting up a cabinet for cow protection and fostering,' he said.

He has forgotten his old announcement, Nath said.

'There has been no work for cow protection and promotion during the 15 years' BJP rule in the state. On the contrary, they reduced the money given for cow shelters,' Nath said, adding that the Congress government had started the work on construction of 1,000 cow shelters.

Home Minister Mishra countered that the Congress government under Nath only talked about building cow shelters during its 15-month rule but was not able to set up even 15 shelters.

'The BJP is nurturing Indian culture. The MP government has set a new example by constituting a gau cabinet,' Mishra added.

Senior BJP leader Uma Bharti praised Chouhan for the decision. PTI ADU MAS GK KRK KRK