The Karnataka BJP started its 24-hour Ashtayama Yagna, a religious programme to create awareness about the importance of cow, on Friday.
The BJP cow protection cell went ahead with the yajna in spite of the low turn out for the programme on Friday afternoon. While BJP State President and Chief Ministerial candidate B S Yeddyurappa and other senior party leaders were supposed to show up at the yajna, no one had turned up until late on Friday.
Sources in the BJP told Times of India that the yajna had become a nuisance at a time the party is focusing its efforts on the Parivartana Yatra rally in Bengaluru set for Sunday where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be speaking. â€śThe yajna has attracted negative publicity to the party and all top leaders are considering it a nuisance that needs to be tackled,â€ť said a party functionary speaking to Times of India.
Sanjeev Goenka, convener of the cow protection cell defended the yajna and said that it is being held to create awareness about the importance of cow and the need to protect cattle and strengthen the rural economy.
The decision to hold a yajna for cow protection also comes at a time the party is at odds with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah over eating beef. BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath questioned Siddaramaiahâ€™s Hindu credentials while addressing a rally in Bengaluru earlier this month.
â€śWhen we were in power in Karnataka, we had enacted a law prohibiting cow slaughter. The Congress government as soon as it came to power, repealed that law. The cow is a very scared animal to Hindus. If Siddaramaiah is a Hindu and talks of Hindutva, he shouldnâ€™t allow cow slaughter,â€ť he had said as reported by The Hindu, challenging the Chief Minister to prove his Hindu credentials.
Siddaramaiah had responded saying that he does not need lessons on eating beef. â€śA lot of Hindus eat beef. If I want to eat, I will, who are they to tell me not to consume beef. I donâ€™t eat beef only because I donâ€™t like to. He should read what Swami Vivekananda said about cow slaughter before preaching us,â€ť Siddaramaiah said.