(Eds: Dropping certain words in para 2, 8 & adding inputs) Lucknow, Apr 10 (PTI) The BJP today termed SP leader Azam Khan’s gesture of returning a cow gifted to him by a seer as a move to “maintain his relevance” in the current political scenario of Uttar Pradesh.
Khan had yesterday returned the black cow gifted to him by Swami Adhokshjanand Maharaj in 2015, saying “any vigilante could kill the animal to defame” him.
“The gesture of Khan is completely uncalled for. His statement that any cow vigilante may kill it to defame him, only shows his narrow and parochial mindset,” state party spokesperson Manish Shukla told PTI.
“By this he has hurt the sentiments of crores of people who rever cows,” he said.
“Khan’s antics are a last ditch effort from his side to maintain his relevance in the current political scenario of the state,” he claimed.
Taking a jibe at the former state minister, Shukla said, “It is really surprising that Khan is having problems with a cow, whereas police had to intervene when his buffaloes went missing.”
Khan in a letter to the Hindu seer had said, “Muslims were living in an atmosphere of insecurity… Any cow vigilante might harm or even kill the beautiful and beneficial animal to defame me and the Muslim community.” Swami Adhokshjanand Maharaj had in October, 2015 gifted a black cow to Khan after the latter had expressed his desire to have one in his dairy.
Khan also alleged that a “vicious propaganda has been launched against Muslims in the country and their condition was even worse than that of slaves”.
The SP leader told the Shankaracharya that he accorded “best treatment” to the cow and the animal was being returned keeping in view its “safety and security”.
Meanwhile, the seer has demanded a law for ban on cow slaughter. He said the steps taken by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath are a step in the right direction.
He also said the cow returned by Khan has been received by him and it is in excellent health which shows that it was taken proper care of.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.