NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asked state governments to take strict action against cow vigilantes as he sought the support of opposition parties in tackling “communal violence” in the name of cow protection, reports PTI.
At an all-party meeting a day before the Monsoon Session, he also cautioned against giving political or communal colour to the issue.
“The Prime Minister urged all parties to extend their support to the government in fighting corruption and the issue of communal violence in the name of cow protection.
“Modi said state governments must ensure the maintenance of law and order and strict action must be taken against those who break the law,” an official statement quoted Modi as having said in the meeting.
Modi’s statement assumes significance as the opposition also plans to target the government on several recent instances of violence in the name of cow protection.
The Prime Minister also underscored the belief of many Hindus that cow is like mother, but said that this should not let people take law in their own hands and every state government should act against violation of the law, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters after the meeting.
Opposition parties have attacked the BJP over the cases of cow vigilantism, in which Muslims and Dalits have often been targeted.
Last month, Modi had echoed a similar sentiment and said that “killing in the name of cow worship is not acceptable”.
At the high-level meeting, Modi also expressed his gratitude to all political parties for their consensus on the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which ensured the swift and efficient roll out of the landmark tax reform on July 1.
He also aired his concern over the flood situation in the eastern and north-eastern states of the country. As many as 80 people have lost their lives in the floods that have hit 58 districts in the Northeast.
The monsoon session of Parliament, which begins today, is expected to be stormy with the Opposition parties all set to corner the government over a range of issues concerning national security, foreign policy and other domestic matters. Voting to elect the new President is also scheduled for the same day, in which 776 members of Parliament will cast their ballot.
Modi said it would have been very good had a consensus been reached on the presidential candidate. He, however, said “high level of dignity” has been maintained by both sides during the campaign and no “ill will or bad language” has been used.