Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh has taken a cue from Rajasthan and will have an entire ministry dedicated to cows in the state. The announcement was made by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
While Rajasthan created a cow welfare ministry earlier this year, MP too will soon have a ministry for the welfare of the animal - considered holy by Hindus - in the state. "The cow ministry will replace the existing Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board (MPGEPSB) because it (board) has limitations," Chouhan was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. "The government releases small funds to the (MPGEPS) board. An independent ministry will work in a better way to serve cows."
Chouhan also said that more cow sanctuaries would be created on the lines of the solitary one which is located in MP's Agar Malwa district. He said that the need of the hour was to take proper care of a large number of cows that are present in MP and that just one sanctuary is not enough.
The decision to have a cow ministry in the state was welcomed by MPGEPSB executive council chairman Swami Akhileshwaranand who has a cabinet rank status in the MP government.
Not everyone is jumping with joy just yet with critics arguing that cows enjoy more privileges in the state than common citizens. Rival parties have often argued that the state government should focus more on tackling issues of corruption, women's safety, crimes and infrastructure than the welfare of cows.
The issue of cows and their welfare, nonetheless, is believed to strike a chord with the Hindu population in the state which could be crucial ahead of assembly elections here.