BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced on Sunday the establishment of a Gau Mantralaya (cow ministry) in the state for protection and welfare of cows. The new ministry, once it comes into existence will replace the Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board.
The announcement made by Chouhan at a function to give awards to gaushalas (cowsheds) in Khajuraho town of Chhatarpur district, came ten days after the Uttarakhand State Assembly unanimously passed a resolution, seeking that cow be rendered the status of Rashtra Mata (Mother of Nation).
Once the cow ministry comes into existence in the state, MP will be the second state after Rajasthan to have a separate ministry for the welfare of cows.
The development which happened just a few days before the election model code of conduct comes into force into the assembly poll-bound state is being seen as an attempt by the CM to counter the MP Congress Committee president Kamal Nath’s recent announcement of establishing gaushalas (cowsheds) in every gram panchayat once the opposition party comes to power in the central Indian state.
Recently, the ruling BJP had gone on the back foot following the exhuming of cow carcasses near a Ram Temple in the Rewa Municipal Corporation premises in Rewa district.
While making the announcement at Khajuraho in Chhatarpur district and later in Nagna village in Naryawali assembly segment of Sagar district, the CM also referred to the country’s first cow sanctuary established near Susner in Agar Malwa district.
He added that just one cow sanctuary wasn’t enough to take care of the cows. “More such cow sanctuaries will be set up in other parts of the state, exploring the availability of land.”
Importantly, three months back Swami Akhileshwaranand, who is the chairperson of the MP Cow Protection Board (enjoying cabinet minister rank) had demanded the creation of a separate ministry for cow welfare. The seer-turned-Board chairman too was present at the function in Khajuraho, where the MP CM made the important announcement on Sunday.
Later in the evening, the CM also unveiled Niwadi as the 52nd district of Madhya Pradesh. The district has been carved out of Tikamgarh district of Bundelkhand, which is the home district of ex-CM and present union minister Uma Bharti. She was present at the function as the chief guest in Niwadi where the 52nd district was officially unveiled by the CM.
On Saturday, state cabinet meeting chaired by the CM had cleared the decks for Niwadi becoming 52nd district of the state.