Congress, BJP clash over cow vigilantism in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: The Congress and the Trinamool Congress on Thursday lashed out at the ruling BJP in the Lok Sabha over the attack on women, Dalits and Muslims allegedly in the name of cow protection.

Responding to the attack, ruling party MP Hukum Singh said it has become a fashion to oppose and criticise anything concerning cows.

Congress’ KC Venugopal, participating in a debate on supplementary demand for grants for 2016-17, said there is “rising intolerance” in the country with instances of attack on writers like Govind Pansare and M.M. Kalburgi and also referred to the recent attacks on Dalits, Muslims and women by cow vigilante groups.

“There cannot be good economic growth in such atmosphere and with such ‘intolerance’. Only freedom, fraternity feelings and equality can ensured a sustainable economic growth,” he said amid interruptions.

Trinamool member Abhishek Banerjee suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley should see Satyajit Ray’s “Pather Panchali” film adding the abject poverty it portrays “reflects the current situation of the country”.

Attacking the BJP-led NDA regime in the centre, he described it as “a Government that tweets on almost every subject, but remains mum and silent on important issues like when Dalits are killed, when young minds in Kashmir are pained and anguished”.

Several BJP members took exceptions to his observations.

Banerjee, however, did not spare Congress either and slammed for it the alliance with the Left parties in West Bengal.

“Two months ago, the people of my state had three choices: an ideology-led unethical, venomous alliance; a party that runs on media hype and encourages religious fundamentalism; and the Trinamool Congress, which worked for development,” he said adding people overwhelmingly voted for his party.

He also said that in the past two years under the BJP-led government, “cooperative federalism” has been merely rendered a slogan.

However, Singh said: “Jab tak aap guy ka virodh nahi karenge tab tak aapko secular nahi mana jaega (Till you do not oppose anything about cow, you may not be considered a secular).”

Noting that the farming community has faith and respect for cows, he said that some people only try to “politicise” the issue in the name of religion.