Ruling BJP legislators and opposition members exchanged barbs against each other during a discussion on Monday on crop damage caused by abandoned animals in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind and Datia districts.
Members of both the sides accused each other of creating the problem by distributing grazing land in villages, rendering cattle homeless.
Congress MLA Govind Singh said a large number of abandoned cows, pigs and donkeys destroy crops. The district administration has done nothing to control this “alarming” menace that is forcing people to move to towns in search of work, he said.
Singh also got supports from his BJP counterpart from Bhander.
Forest minister Gauri Shankar Shejwar said there are 10 cow shelters in Bhind and four in Datia, which the opposition legislator said are non-functional.
The minister said the government can keep the animals for sometime but the problem can be solved only by creating awareness among people to not let loose their animals.
Panchayats have the right to set up kanji houses where abandoned and rogue animals are kept, he said.
Rural development minister Gopal Bhargava said there is no place for pigs and donkeys in cow shelters, drawing barbs between the Congress legislator and minister Narottam Mishra.
He said the government should support him in transferring the cattle to Rajasthan where communities are willing to take them.
Congress MLA Ramniwas Rawat said animals are being abandoned because they have no use in agriculture and have been replaced by machines.
Forest minister Shejwar said the Congress government before 2003 had given away the common grazing lands.
Grazing lands, supposed to be 7.5% of land in a village, are now left with just 2.5%.
Congress MLA Rawat objected and said the lands were given to Dalits and the BJP is anti-dalit if it opposes the distribution.
Shejwar said he was not against distribution of land among Dalits but to Congress workers.
‘CM, ministers made 7 foreign trips for investments’
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his cabinet colleagues have made seven foreign trips since 2013 to gather investments to the state, industries minister Yashodhara Raje told the Assembly.
Raje said the trips helped the state create a global image but there’s no estimate of investments that will come through pacts signed.
The documents submitted with the minister’s reply stated that the state spent `683.37 lakh in the foreign trips.
The minister was replying to questions by Ramniwas Rawat of the Congress.
Raje said people in the countries she visited knew only about Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, which is changing now. She said the funding made available by Japanese agencies for infrastructure work in Madhya Pradesh was also due to the Japan trip.