Senior Congress leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah admitted on Monday that he ate ‘cattle meat’. His comments came during the Congress Foundation Day event and he did not spare his own party men either who he claimed were afraid to speak out due to backlash.
Siddaramaiah said, “I had once said in the assembly that I eat cattle meat, who are you to ask?-It is my right, food habit is my right, who are you to question? If you don’t eat, leave it, I’m not going to force you. I eat because I like, who are you to ask? Do you need the courage to say this?”
“…our people stay quiet creating a feeling that what others are saying is right. You should come out of such confusions, please,” he said referring to the anti-cow slaughter bill that was passed by the Karnataka government. “Where will the farmer send aged cattle like cows, buffaloes, he said, pointing out that taking care of a cow or a buffalo costs about Rs 100 per day. Who will give that money? Farmers too worship cows,” he stated.
In 2015, Siddaramaiah had made similar comments. He had said, “I have not eaten go-maamsa (cow-meat) until today, (but) who are you to ask me whether I have or not?” Recently, Siddaramaiah, who also happens to be the leader of the Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly, had expressed regrets for his comments that Kodavas eat beef for which he received a lot of flak. He said that he has a lot of respect for Kodavas and their culture.
On December 9, Karnataka became the 20th state to completely ban cow slaughter in the state. Anyone who indulges in illegal slaughter or transportation of cows will be punished for a jail term of up to 7 years. Interestingly, the comments by the senior Congress leader came on the day that the Karnataka cabinet passed an ordinance to give effect to the bill that remains to be passed by the Legislative Council.