BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Wednesday announced a first-of-its-kind ‘gau cabinet’, yoking together six departments functioning under five ministers to work for the “conservation and welfare of cows”.
Ministers Narottam Mishra (home), Prem Singh Patel (animal husbandry), Mahendra Singh Sisodiya (panchayat), Kunwar Vijay Shah (forest) and Kamal Patel (revenue and agriculture) will be part of this administrative set-up.
The group’s first meeting is scheduled for Gopashtami on November 22 at a cow sanctuary in Agar Malwa, 210km from Bhopal, CM Chouhan tweeted.
“BJP is the guardian of Indian culture. It believes there are three means of contentment – Gita, Ganga and Gaumata. That inspired the decision to form a ‘gau cabinet’. The BJP government under Shivraj Singh Chouhan has set an example before the country,” home minister Mishra said.
Agriculture and revenue minister Kamal Patel said BJP was doing what Congress promised but never executed. “The (erstwhile) Congress government promised to set up a thousand cow shelters, but not a single one was built. The government led by CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has started to not only work for the protection of cows but also their conservation.”
PCC chief Kamal Nath dismissed it as “just another announcement”. “Before the 2018 assembly polls, Chouhan had announced formation of a cow ministry. He had also promised cow sanctuaries and cow shelters all over the state. He is now talking about a cow cabinet,” Nath tweeted.
The former CM alleged that the government had done nothing for the protection of cows. “In contrast, he reduced funds for fodder, which the Congress government had raised to Rs 20 per cow,” Nath said. The 472-hectare cow sanctuary in Agar Malwa came up in 2017 during Chouhan’s third term as CM at a cost of Rs 32 crore and can accommodate over 4,000 cows.