JAIPUR: The Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government’s decision to levy an extra 20 per cent surcharge on all alcoholic drinks to save cows has ignited a major political row in Rajasthan. The move widely seen as a move to please the RSS drew the opposition Congress’ ire.
“These are desperate measures as the BJP leaders want to project themselves as cow saviours. If something useful is done to save cows, we will welcome it. But all these are just gimmicks to save their government.” Congress MP Raghu Sharma said.
The Vasundhara Raje government, the first in India to set up a ministry exclusively for cow welfare, plans to use the proceeds from the liquor surcharge to develop basic infrastructure facilities and for protection of cows.
“I don’t think the Congress ever did anything for protecting cows. They had released Rs 84 crore for cows just a few months before the last elections. We are giving Rs 16 for each calf and Rs 32 for each cow every day. Our aim is to provide a grant of Rs 350 crore for cow welfare,” Gopalan Minister Otaram Devasi said.