Union minister Pratap Sarangi on Saturday said the Centre was planning to introduce a uniform policy for the entire country to protect stray cows. Addressing the 29th Indian Veterinary Conference here, the Minister of State for Animal Husbandry also said "gaumata" (cow) is neither a Muslim or Hindu.
"Cows cannot be termed as a Hindu or Muslim (issue). 'Gaumata' is neither a Hindu nor Muslim. Cows can contribute to the economic development of the country," he added.
Later speaking to reporters, the minister hailed as a "welcoming effort" the Madhya Pradesh government's announcement to set up 1000 modern gaushalas (cow shelters) in
"The Centre is planning to bring in a uniform policy for the protection of stray cows," said Sarangi. Replying to a query on the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the minister said it was a matter of pridefor the country.
"The temple should be constructed at the Ram Janmabhoomi," he added."(Mughal emperor) Babur was a foreign invader. There was no mosque there (at the disputed site)...only a structure," said the minister.
He also rebutted Madhya Pradesh Animal Husbandry Minister Lakhan Yadav's allegations that the BJP does politics in the name of cows and Lord Ram.
"The BJP did't do politics in the name of Lord Rama and cows," he said. Interestingly, during his address, Yadav praised Sarangi for his "simplicity".