The Karnataka government did not introduce the stringent anti-cattle slaughter bill in the Legislative Council on Thursday, a day after it was passed in the state Assembly. The BJP does not have the numbers to overcome the combined strength of Congress and JD(S) in the Legislative Council. It is likely that the state government may choose to promulgate an ordinance.
The BJP with 31 members in the Council was banking on support from the JD(S) which has 14 members. The Congress has 29 members. This is the third contentious bill this week that was not passed in the Council. The JD(S) earlier backed the BJP in passing the Karnataka Land Reform Bill but the party, under pressure from farmer groups, backed out from supporting the anti-cattle slaughter bill.
JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister Kumaraswamy tweeted that the anti-cow slaughter Bill, which was introduced and adopted in the Karnataka Assembly in a tearing hurry, appears to affect farmers adversely. "This is because the Bill does not appear to have taken measures to protect farmers, who actually protect and nurture cattle. It is going to be difficult for a farmer when a cow gives birth to a male calf or when it gets old or falls sick," he said.
The Karnataka government on Wednesday passed the stringent anti-cattle slaughter bill in the Assembly. The bill widened the definition of cattle to include bulls, bullocks and buffalos under the age of 13. The bill was not presented in the Council on Thursday and it is not clear when it will be presented.
Kumaraswamy said that the bill could also adversely affect milk production in the state. "This clause would increase financial burden on dairy farmers and make dairying a loss-making venture. Already, the farmers are reeling under distress as milk unions have slashed the procurement prices by Rs 5 a litre ever since the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the state," he said.