BJP leader puts CM Rupani on backfoot on his own home turf

Gandhinagar: Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s ‘Mann ni Moklash’ is a monthly free-wheeling sectoral interaction programme to hear out grievances, but on Thursday the ruling BJP’s own senior leader from North Gujarat came down heavily on the State Government for ignoring the Animal Welfare Board focusing on the cow and its progeny.

North Gujarat is the home ground of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, former chief minister and Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel as well as Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.

On Thursday, BJP’s senior leader and former MLA from Unjha in North Gujarat Narayanbhai Patel left no stone unturned to embarrass the Rupani Government where a good number of trustees of Gaushalas from across the State were present to discuss the issue of Gaushala and cow protection.

The former MLA even went to the extent of telling Rupani that, “You are a Jain and even a trader, Jains are supposed to be animal lovers. So, what is stopping you from increasing fund allocation to the Board?”

But being a seasoned politician himself, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani gave it back to Narayanbhai Patel, asserting that, “All those present here are prominent persons from the society. The government can’t do all the work, don’t compel me to reveal how much fund in Unjha was collected after demonetisation. I know Naran Kaka’s capacity, you can easily raise a fund of Rs 25 to Rs 50 crore. Let us not derail the talks, and none of these Gaushalas was set up recently, these are there for decades and some are even 100 years old.”

During the interaction, Narayanbhai Patel alleged, “In the last board meeting of Animal Welfare Board, it was decided to give subsidy against the cattle head to the Gaushala and a General Resolution (GR) was passed, but nothing concrete has happened. The state Government needs to increase fund allocation to the Board so that it can increase subsidy per animal head.”

He alleged that the government had announced to constitute a Board in 2013, but by 2017 only half of the members were appointed and the complete Board could be formed only in 2018. The Board had taken up some 10 issues, but none of these has been addressed.

Patel also drew the attention ofCM that donation in cash has reduced after the implementation of GST and if this trend continues many Gaushalas may close down.