On the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ticking off self-appointed cow vigilantes, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an influential right-wing organisation, has registered its ire against Modi's remarks, going as far as to say that he will have to pay a price in the 2019 national election.
VHP leaders in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have spoken out against the Prime Minister's remarks , The Indian Express reported today.
Sunil Parashar, VHP's vice president in Uttar Pradesh, said Modi had "hurt" gau rakshaks and that "he will have to pay for it in the next Lok Sabha polls," the newspaper reported.
The Indian Express also reported that the Gujarat unit of the VHP had issued the following statement: "Thousands of butchers killing one lakh cows every year are not termed 'goondas' and gau rakshaks like Gita Rambhiya are termed 'goondas'... This shows your change of heart."
While addressing his first Townhall in Delhi on Saturday, Modi said, "I get so angry at those who are into the Gau-Rakshakbusiness. A Gau-Bhakt is different, Gau Seva is different. I have seen that some people are into crimes all night and wear the garb of Gau Rakshaks in the day."
"70-80% will be those who indulge in anti-social activities and try to hide their sins by pretending to be Gau Rakshaks. If they are true protectors, they should realise that most cows die because of plastic, not slaughter. They should stop cows from eating plastic," he said.
Modi addressed the growing problem of bullying and violence in the name of cow protection almost a month after four Dalit boys were flogged by cow vigilantes in his home state of Gujarat. Modi was criticised for not speaking out against cow vigilantes even as Dalits carried out state-wide protests, and young Dalit men consumed poison to show their outrage.
After condemning cow vigilantes at his Townhall in Delhi on Saturday, Modi did so again during his first visit to Telangana on Sunday.
Describing cows as the country's wealth, he said a handful of people were trying to create tension in the society in the name of cow protection, PTI reported. "I would like to tell all countrymen that they beware of these fake cow protectors," he said.
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