Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel taunted the Madhya Pradesh government on Sunday for decrease in the number of tigers in the neighbouring state.
"Habitation area of lions in Gujarat has increased, which is a good sign. Since the number of lions have increased, it is our responsibility to protect them and we will ensure their conservation," Patel said, announcing the census on the population of Asiatic lions in Gujarat.
"The neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh also carried out a tiger census according to which the number of tigers declined. I am sure that our Prime Minister will look into it," Patel said.
The state governments of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat which are both led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, have been fighting a legal battle on translocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat’s Gir lion sanctuary to the Kuno Palpur sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
On April 15, 2013, the Supreme Court had ordered translocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat to Madhya Pradesh, saying the species is under threat of extinction and needed a second home.
Then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi had filed a curative petition challenging the Supreme Court order, but it was rejected by the Supreme Court in June last year.
The issue is pending before the Supreme Court after a Rajkot-based non-governmental organisation called Wildlife Conservation Trust (WTC) challenged the translocation order.