21/05/2017 4:41 PM IST | Updated 21/05/2017 4:41 PM IST

BJP All For Protecting Cows But Against Vigilantes Who Break The Law, Says Nitin Gadkari

'Cow vigilantes are nothing but anti-social elements'

Adnan1 Abidi / Reuters

In a bid to distance the Bharatiya Janata Party's ideology of cow protection from self-styled cow vigilantes or gau-rakshaks, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said that the party should not be held responsible for those who take the law in their hands in the garb of gau raksha.

Gadkari said that while the BJP was against killing cows, it did not agree with the methods of the cow vigilantes who broke the law and claimed to be doing it at BJP's behest, reported the NDTV.

He said that the party had no connection or interatcion with any such people or groups who he said were anti-social elements pretending to be gau-rakshaks and thus sullying the cause.

Gadkari said it was unfair on the part of the left parties and other 'anti-Hindutva' groups to constantly blame the BJP for incidents of cow vigilantism.

Blasting cow vigilantes in 2016 after some of them flogged Dalits in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called them 'anti-socials' who were criminals by night but became cow protectors by day.

Recently, cow vigilantes have often claimed to have links with the BJP or with some senior party leaders, bringing it under severe criticism from the opposition.

One such vigilante who was arrested in April for roughing up a man transporting cattle clamed he worked for a non-profit run by Union Minister Maneka Gandhi. The minister's office denied such claims.

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