Former Karnataka Chief Minister and Janata Dal (S) party’s second in command, HD Kumaraswamy has warned that the new anti-cow slaughter Bill if implemented will impact milk production across the state.
Kumaraswamy is pushed to the corner for the controversial stand taken on the day of Bharat Bandh by backing the ruling BJP’s controversial Bill on Land Reforms, which has angered a section of farmer leaders in the state.
As on that day the JD(S) had joined farmers in a protest rally opposing the similar laws enacted by the Union government recently in the morning and by the evening his party had helped BJP sail through the Bill in the Upper House by supporting it.
Kumaraswamy tweeted that the Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Bill - 2020, also known as anti-cow slaughter Bill which was introduced and adopted in the Karnataka Assembly in a tearing hurry appears to be an attempt to protect cattle, in the long run it is bound to affect farmer adversely.
“This is because the Bill does not appear to have taken measures to protect farmers, who actually protect and nurture cattle. Other people may merely worship cows, but it is only the farmer who nurtures, protects and worships them too. But his interests are conveniently forgotten while framing this Bill," he said.
According to Kumaraswamy, both BJP and Congress are national parties and for them protecting the vote bank is the primary concern, while his party being small and a regional outfit is the true champion of farmers.
He added that the most prominent drawback of this Bill is that including male calves and bulls under the ambit would prove to be detrimental.
“It is a common sense that the male calves of only native cattle are mostly retained and nurtured as they are useful in farming activities. While the male calves of hybrid cows including HF varieties are not preferred as they are absolutely of no use to farmers because of their lack of ability to be agile like native species.
It is highly impossible as the hybrid varieties like HF cattle need a minimum of Rs 200 a day for maintenance. This is highly impractical," Kumaraswamy said and added that however, the Bill forces farmers to nurture them.
“This very clause would increase financial burden on dairy farmers and make dairying a loss-making venture. Already, the farmers are reeling under distress as milk unions have slashed the procurement prices by Rs 5 a litre ever since the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the state.
With such impractical clauses in this Bill, the BJP is trying to put further pressure on farmers which in turn may prove detrimental to farmers and ultimately discourage farmers completely from dairy-farming," he said.
Kumaraswamy added that the clause insisting getting permits to transport cattle even for vaccination is bound to create “Licence Raj" in the farming sector and pave the way for corruption.
“It is an irony that the BJP government which talks of aease of doing business’ by removing license raj for big industrialists is actually enforcing such license raj on poor farmers. It is also not proper to hold the sellers as responsible in case of slaughter," he said.
The former CM added that it is the dairy sector that has protected farmers and helped their survival particularly in parched districts at times of agrarian crisis.
“If you try to make the sector unviable through such impractical clauses, then the trend of farmersa¿ suicides is bound to increase further," he warned.
Kumaraswamy added that the BJP government should remove such impractical clauses from the Bill so that farmers are not put to hardship.
“Do not allow emotions to overtake science and pay due diligence to practicalities and ground realities," he appealed.