Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday called for a nationwide ban on cow slaughter.
"We have been striving to protect the cow. Sampoorna Bharatvarsh me gauvansh hatya band ho, ye hamari ichchha hai (We wish the killing of cows and its progeny should be banned in the entire country)," Bhagwat said at an event to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir in New Delhi.
He said it was for the government to make laws to this effect.
"Wherever in the state governments we have dedicated swayamsevaks, those state governments have brought in laws. But our desire is that the law should be for the entire country," he added.
While several states in India have banned cow slaughter through stringent laws, many others including north-eastern states, West Bengal, Kerala and even BJP-ruled Goa, put no legal restrictions on consuming beef.
Bhagwat said that enactment of such a law everywhere will take time due to the complexities of politics, and expressed confidence that other state governments will find out a way (to ban cow slaughter) by dealing with local "complexities".
Bhagwat said any violence in the name of cow slaughter defames the cause, but added that those making efforts to save the cows should continue to do so.