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Karnataka CM Writes to Modi, Calls Cattle Notification 'Unconstitutional'

After weeks of dithering over what its stand on the new cattle trade rules would be, the Karnataka Government finally took up cudgels against the Centres policy, calling it unconstitutional and unfair.

Deepa Balakrishnan | CNN-News18deepab18

Updated:June 9, 2017, 9:46 PM IST
Karnataka CM Writes to Modi, Calls Cattle Notification 'Unconstitutional'
File photo of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamaiah. (CNN-News18)

Bengaluru: After weeks of dithering over what its stand on the new cattle trade rules would be, the Karnataka Government finally opposed the Centre's policy, calling it "unconstitutional and unfair".

Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, asking for a re-think on the cattle trade rules, besides asking for a "detailed consultation" with all States before such rules are introduced.

"The aim of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act is to prevent unnecessary pain and suffering to animals... Slaughtering animals is not prohibited under any provision of the Act.. (These rules) will defeat the very purpose of the Act," he wrote.

His missive comes just ten months before Karnataka goes to polls, and days after other chief ministers such as Pinarayi Vijayan of Kerala and Mamta Banerjee of West Bengal spoke out against the Centre's arbitrary rules. Vijayan had also written to other chief ministers last week, enlisting their support in protesting the rules.

Siddaramaiah also pointed out that the rules laid down in the notification contradict Karnataka's laws on slaughter.

"The rules also indirectly prohibit the sale of animals outside the State which is against the Constitution (Articles 301 and 302) that allow free trade," he said, besides holding that marketing of livestock comes under the State list, and such rules from the Central government infringe on State rights.

Besides bringing in unfair dietary restrictions on people, the rules will also impact livelihoods of lakhs of farmers and people in the leather and meat industry, in turn, affecting the country's economy, he wrote.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was the first to attack the Centre over an India-wide ban on the purchase and sale of cattle for the purpose of slaughter at animal markets.

Taking a dig at the BJP-ruled Centre and the RSS, Pinarayi Vijayan had said he didn’t need a “lesson in food habits from New Delhi or Nagpur”. "The state government will give all facilities to people to have food of their choice. There is no need for Keralites to learn it from anybody in New Delhi or Nagpur." The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is headquartered in Nagpur.

The CM had addressed a letter to the chief ministers of all states, including those where the BJP was in power, to criticise Centre's cattle notification.

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| Edited by: Mirza Arif Beg
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