What the Cat Dragged In: Congress' Nana Patole says lumpy virus came to India with Namibian cheetahs

BJP called Nana Patole's remarks 'baseless'. It also sought apology from the Maharashtra Congress President

FP Staff October 03, 2022 19:26:03 IST
What the Cat Dragged In: Congress' Nana Patole says lumpy virus came to India with Namibian cheetahs

Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole. PTI

Mumbai: Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole on Monday sparked a row with his bizarre statement that the cheetahs who have been brought from Namibia are spreading Lumpy skin disease. He further claimed that the Central government has “deliberately” brought the big cats to India to ensure the spread of the disease and hurt farmers.

“This lumpy virus has been prevailing in Nigeria for a long time and the Cheetahs have also been brought from there… The central government has deliberately done this for the losses of farmers,” Patole told reporters today.

The Congress leader’s remarks came days after a suspected case of lumpy skin disease was detected in an animal in the Mumbai suburb of Khar.

BJP demands Nana Patole’s apology

BJP MLA Ram Kadam, who tweeted the clip from a press conference where Patole made the remark, said: “The statement made by Patole is ridiculous. What is the logic behind it. He has been trying to hog limelight since long and just to be in the coverage all the time, he has been giving such kind of ridiculous statements.”

“In a way, which is a proud moment, when under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, we brought cheetahs in India and instead of appreciating that, he is taking a jibe or is he showing his knowledge,” Kadam added.

In a tweet, the BJP leader wrote, “Right from Congress president to entire Congress should be awarded by a Nobel Prize because of this new invention and their theory of the Namibian Cheetahs causing a lumpy virus outbreak.”

The charges by Nana Patole is "baseless". "Our demand is Patole should come forward and apologise to the farmers," Kadam said.

He further said that Congress leaders are not serious politicians. "They have nothing to do with farmers and the nation," Kadam said.

On 17 September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi released cheetahs brought from Namibia into a special enclosure at the Kuno National Park (KNP) in Madhya Pradesh. The carnivore were brought as part of the programme to reintroduce the feline in India seven decades after it was declared extinct in the country.

What is lumpy skin disease?

A viral disease, lumpy skin disease (LSD) infects cows and buffaloes. The vector-borne disease spreads through insects like certain species of flies, mosquitoes and even ticks. LSD can also spread via contaminated equipment and in some cases through animal-to-animal contact. The disease does not pose a risk to humans.

Lumpy skin disease symptoms include fever, nodules on the skin that can also lead to death. The disease is more fatal to animals that haven’t been exposed to the virus before.

It was first discovered in Africa in 1929 but in recent times LSD has spread beyond the territories of Africa. In 2015, it was found in Turkey and Greece.

Lumpy skin disease cases in Mumbai

According to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), 2,203 cows of more than 27,500 cattle in Mumbai have already been given the vaccine against the lumpy skin disease. The remaining will be inoculated by in the coming days.

With inputs from agencies

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