11 September 2019
Mathura/New Delhi: Opposition parties have hit back at the Prime Minister who at an event in Mathura on Wednesday said that some people think words like 'Om' and 'cow' will take the country back to the 16th century. Opposition parties said that Modi should be more concerned about killings in the name of the cow and the economic slowdown.
With Union Minister Giriraj Singh, a vocal supporter of the Hindutva cause on stage, Modi said, "It is unfortunate that for some their hair stands at the mention of words like 'Om' and 'Cow'. They think that the country will now go back to the 16th century".
Earlier, he was also seen patting a cow here or caressing a calf there, videos of which hold a huge significance for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) both at the centre and in Uttar Pradesh and the entire Hindi heartland where the 'cow' is more than an animal.
The reference to cow wasn't limited to that. While launching the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) for eradicating Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis in livestock, Modi took a dig at previous governments for ignoring it.
Modi was subtly but clearly pandering to his cow belt voters. With Yogi Adityanath in attendance, who himself is known to run a large gaushala at Gorakhpur, Modi said, "Desh barbaad karne walo ne desh barbaad karne mein kuchh nahi chhoda hai (The people who want to destroy the country have left no stone unturned)". It was a reference to the opposition.
Very soon the PM's statement erupted into a political controversy with AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi jumping into the fray. He said, "Narendra Modi ke kaan tab khade ho jane chahiye jab gaye ke naam par insano ko mara jaa raha hai aur sanvidhan ki dhajiya udayi jaa rahi hai" (Modi should be concerned when people get killed in the name of cow protection and the Constitution is being disregarded).