Karnataka: Lack of numbers force BJP to step back on anti-cow slaughter bill

Bengaluru: Fearing the loss of face, the ruling BJP on Thursday did not table the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill – 2020 which is also popularly known as anti-cow slaughter Bill in the Legislative Council.

Though the ruling BJP has attained status of a single largest party but the combined Opposition parties (Congress and Janata Dal Secular) strength is much higher compared to the BJP.

In the 75-member house, BJP has 31 members, the Congress 28, JDS 14, 1 chairman and 1 independent.

The JD(S) which is pushed to corner after the Farmers’ organisations terming its support to the controversial Karnataka Land Reforms Amendment Bill as an “act of betrayal” and the JD(S) had been consistently opposing the BJP’s controversial anti-Cow slaughter Bill since Wednesday evening.

As the Legislative Council chairman, Pratapchandra Shetty read out the Agenda and asked the ruling party to table the contentious Bill, but Deputy Chief Minister, Lakshman Savadi said that in absence of concerned minister, Prabhu Chauhan, who is incharge of Animal Husbandry and Haj & Wakf, the Bill can’t be tabled and requested the Chairman to take up the matter on Friday.

Hearing this Congress members like the leader of the Opposition, S. R. Patil and former union minister, C. M. Ibrahim raised objections stating that if the Bill had to be taken it should be taken now itself or else the House be adjourned sine die.

“We are in the middle of elections. Gram Panchayat polls are important, hence, the Council’s business need not be extended,” the Congress leaders demanded.

After coming out of the Council, Deputy Chief Minister, Lakshman Savadi told IANS that the their party’s game plan was to make the Chairman to take the no-confidence motion against him moved by BJP first prior to tabling this Bill. “When that did not happen, we did not wish to give into their game plan. Since Wednesday, we have been demanding the Chairman to list the no-confidence motion into the Agenda but when that did not happen, we decided not to table our Bill,” he explained.

Meanwhile, a BJP cabinet minister who did not wish to be named told IANS that they were planning to bring this Bill through Ordinance in a week’s time.

“We did not want to give the Opposition a chance to refer this Bill to the Joint Select Committee, which stops us from implementing this Bill in any form including Ordinance, hence we did not table it,” he said and added that in a day or two the BJP will come out with Ordinance in this regard.

Prior to this, the Council passed the crucial BBMP Bill, which is aimed at increasing number of wards from 198 to 243 without any hitch.