Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday announced the setting up of a Gau Mantralaya (cow ministry) in the state for the protection of cows. The ministry will replace the Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board.
Addressing a public gathering in Bhopal, Chouhan said: "We already have a Madhya Pradesh Gau Samvardhan Board, but it is my wish from the heart to make a full-fledged ministry for the protection of cows. A board has its own limitations, as to it the government provides fewer funds in different instalments, but if an independent ministry will be created there will be a better inflow of finances."
Chouhan advised citizens to shelter cows in their homes as per their capacity, ANI quoted Chouhan as saying. The announcement comes in the run-up to the state assembly elections.
"People should start doing more for the protection of cows. If every house just shelters two to four cows as per their capacity, there can be a big revolution," he said.
Referring to the country's first cow sanctuary in the state's Agar Malwa district, the chief minister said just one facility was not enough to shelter a large number of cows and more such sanctuaries would be set up in the state. MPGEPSB executive council chairman Swami Akhileshwaranand welcomed the announcement and said he had recommended for the creation of such a ministry. Akhileshwaranand enjoys cabinet rank status in the state government by virtue of this post.
The Rajasthan was the first state in the country to set up a department for the preservation and protection of cows. Earlier, the state and the cow have hit headlines – be it the large number of cow deaths in Hingonia shelter in Jaipur, the state education minister’s remarks about cow being the only animal that inhales and exhales oxygen or Udaipur university planning to open a centre of excellence for research on cow urine.