Narendra Modi rebukes gau rakshaks, urges states to take strict action against anti-social elements

Expressing anger over the incidents of cow vigilantism, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday warned gau rakshaks of strict action, urging state governments to keep the "anti-social elements" under check.

"Gau raksha ke naam par jo hinsa kar rahe hain, aise logon par kathor se kathor karyawaahi karenge (We will take strict action against those who kill people in the name of cow protection)," Union minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the conclusion of the all-party meeting.

Kumar continued, "Pradhan mantri ne asamajik tatvo ke khilaf kathor karyavahi ke liye rajya sarkar se maang ki hai (prime minister has asked state government to take strict action against these anti-social elements)."

According to Kumar, Modi told the all-party meeting that while Indians believe that the cow is like our mother, that does not let people take the law into their own hands.

"Cow vigilantism should not be given political or communal colour as the nation doesn't benefit from it," Kumar quoted Modi as saying in the all-party meeting.

This is the second time in less than a month that the prime minister denounced violence in the name of cow protection. In June, Modi slammed gau rakshaks during his visit to the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad.

Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of Narendra Modi. PTI

Modi invoked Gandhi, saying, “He would have shown us what a true gau rakshak is. He would have never approved of cow vigilantism.”

Opposition parties have attacked the BJP over the cases of cow vigilantism, in which Muslims and Dalits have often been targeted. These parties have also planned to raise the issue during the Parliament session.

All political parties except the JD(U) and Trinamool Congress attended the all-party meeting, which was called on the eve of the Monsoon Session, which begins on Monday. Among those opposition leaders who attended the meeting were Ghulam Nabi Azad (Congress), Sharad Pawar (NCP), Sitaram Yechury (CPM), Mulayam Singh Yadav (SP) and D Raja (CPI).

Kumar said that Parliament will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Quit India and added that the prime minister has sought healthy discussion over the historical significance of the event.

Talking about Monday's voting for electing India's 14th president, Kumar said that Modi urged MPs of all parties to exercise their right to vote. The Union minister from Karnataka also appreciated that the fight for presidency had "high levels of dignity" and without any kind of mudslinging. However, Kumar told reporters that it would have been very good had a consensus been reached on the candidate.

On GST roll-out, Kumar said that the prime minister called the reform an example of "co-operative federalism". "The prime minister also sought the co-operation of all parties for the successful implementation of GST," Kumar said.

The Union minister also said that Modi expressed concern over the flood situation in the North East, which has engulfed large parts of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

Modi took a dig at RJD chief Lalu Prasad, who is facing fresh corruption charges, as he sought cooperation in fight against corruption. "People involved in corruption should not be saved," Kumar quoted Modi as saying at the meeting.

Kumar told the all-party meeting that 30 per cent of total expenditure and 49 per cent of spending in the infrastructure sector already took place before the monsoon started due to the advancement of the budget. On the issue of Kashmir and tensions with China, Kumar said that the government was assured of the Opposition's support on matters of national security.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Jul 17, 2017 08:29 AM

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