BJP holds stir over cattle deaths due to lumpy skin disease in Raj

Updated on Sep 21, 2022 05:05 AM IST

The protests came even as the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in the state assembly expressed concerns over the rapid spread of the lumpy disease and assured all possible steps to protect cattle. It also accused the Centre of not providing vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease.

At 11am on Tuesday, BJP workers, led by state party chief Satish Poonia, began a march from the party office to protest against the spread of the disease.(HT_PRINT)
At 11am on Tuesday, BJP workers, led by state party chief Satish Poonia, began a march from the party office to protest against the spread of the disease.(HT_PRINT)
By, Hindustan Times, Jaipur

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers on Tuesday staged a massive protest in Jaipur over the death of thousands of cattle in the state due to lumpy skin disease, among other issues, and clashed with police while attempting to gherao the state assembly, according to people aware of the developments.

As many as 150 workers were briefly arrested and later released.

The protests came even as the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in the state assembly expressed concerns over the rapid spread of the lumpy disease and assured all possible steps to protect cattle. It also accused the Centre of not providing vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease.

Also Read| Lumpy skin disease affects milk economy in Rajasthan; production down by 21%

Lumpy disease is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever and nodules on the skin and can lead to the death of the cattle. The disease is estimated to have killed nearly 100,000 cows and buffaloes in eight states since it first struck in April, as more cattle continue to fall prey despite a massive vaccination drive, HT had reported on September 16.

Rajasthan has seen one of the largest outbreaks. Over 59,000 cattle in the state have died due to the disease so far, according to government data.

At 11am on Tuesday, BJP workers, led by state party chief Satish Poonia, began a march from the party office to protest against the spread of the disease, unemployment and deteriorating law and order situation in the state, the people cited above said.

They were on their way to gherao state assembly but were stopped at Bais Godown circle. They clashed with police as they attempted to cross the barricades, the people added.

The party alleged their workers were manhandled by police personnel and Poonia and senior leader Arun Chaturvedi sustained minor injuries. As many as 150 workers courted arrest.

There is resentment among the public over the way the government has been handling the lumpy disease, Poonia said. “As the opposition party, we are raising the issue in and outside the assembly. We demand that the government give a compensation of 50,000 to cattle owners,” he said.

Chief minister Ashok Gehlot is misleading the people by demanding that the Centre declare the disease a pandemic, the BJP leader said. “State governments such as Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana have taken the best of measures to prevent this disease,” he said.

A senior police official said mild force was used on the protestors after they forcefully tried to cross the barricades. Around 150-200 protestors were briefly arrested and later released at different locations, the official said on condition of anonymity.

The ruling Congress hit out at the BJP over its protests.

“Whenever the assembly session starts, the BJP has to indulge in some drama to show its presence. On August 15, the chief minister had held discussions with all parties, NGOs and others. Rajasthan has purchased maximum vaccines and administered them. This is a collective fight, the chief minister is constantly reiterating that the Centre declares it as a pandemic,” party spokesperson R C Choudhary said.

As far as the law and order situation is concerned, it is better than other states, he added.

On August 10, Union minister for agriculture and farmers welfare Narendra Singh Tomar launched the indigenous vaccine Lumpi-ProVac to protect livestock from lumpy skin disease with an aim to provide relief to the livestock of the country.

Also Read| Lumpy skin disease: Cattle epidemic rages on despite vaccination

Meanwhile, in the assembly, the state government said they are taking all possible steps to protect the cattle from the skin disease.

Continuous adequate availability of medicines is being ensured at all veterinary centers. The entire cost of goat pox vaccines is being borne by the state government, the government said.

“Experts have expressed apprehensions about variation in lumpy virus variants, which is worrying. The veterinary infrastructure is being strengthened to deal with this,” animal husbandry minister Lal Chand Kataria said.

After opening new veterinary centers and recruiting veterinary personnel, the government is procuring 500 animal ambulances for the state, Kataria said.

He also said the state government has provided grants of more that 2,000 crore to Gaushalas in the last four years, which is much more that what was given during tenure of the previous BJP-led government.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Sachin Saini is Special Correspondent for Rajasthan. He covers politics, tourism, forest, home, panchayati raj and rural development, and development journalism.

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