Haridwar, Nov 20: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat of the Congress is the latest to add to controversial comments on beef and cow slaughter. He has said that those who kill cows have "no right to live in the country."
"Anyone who kills cows, no matter which community he belongs to, is India's biggest enemy and has no right to live in the country," Mr Rawat said at a function in the holy city of Haridwar on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister said the law would deal sternly with those who kill cows in Uttarakhand, and the state government would do everything to protect cows.
His government, he said, had passed a proposal against cow slaughter. He went on to say that Uttarakhand is the only state which gives not only land for cowsheds but also helps in arranging for their fodder.
The Chief Minister's statement runs contrary to the stand of his Congress party, which has strongly protested against recent incidents and pronouncements linked to cow slaughter amid a swirling debate on "intolerance" in the country.
Last month, ML Khattar, the Chief Minister of BJP-ruled Haryana, had backtracked after appearing to suggest that Muslims in the country must give up beef. "Muslims can stay, but in this country they will have to give up eating beef. The cow is an article of faith here," Mr Khattar was quoted by a newspaper as saying.
Mr Khattar later amended that all he meant was "we should show respect for each other's sentiment."