Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has said the state government has taken adequate steps to protect cows in the state. He said the government not only succeeded in preventing cow slaughter but effectively checked their smuggling to other states and countries. “The cows were even being sent to other countries before I took over as the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. It was a challenge before me to protect the holy animal which I did to my full ability,’‘ Adityanath said.
The chief minister said the steps taken to protect stray cattle have borne fruits too. About 5,24,000 cows are kept in government-run shelters, Yogi informed the press, while more than eight lakh of them have been housed in Kanha Upvan — cow shelters run by local bodies in the state.
Speaking at a book release function at his official residence on 21 November, a day before the Gopashtami, a festival dedicated to cows and Lord Krishna, the chief minister underlined the religious importance of cows. He said that Gopashtami has been a tradition followed for thousands of years.
Yogi released the book Gau-Lok Ki Ore authored by Shivani Sharma, the UP government said in a statement issued yesterday.
Yogi was appointed as the chief minister on 26 March 2017 after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the 2017 state assembly election, where he was a prominent campaigner. He had been a Member of Parliament from the Gorakhpur constituency, Uttar Pradesh, for five consecutive terms since 1998.
Yogi is the founder of Hindu Yuva Vahini, an organisation that caters for the interests of the Hindu community. The West considers him a “Hindu nationalist” due to his views. He has an image among the leftists and the woke crowd as a right-wing, Hindutva firebrand.
In 2006, Yogi took up links between Nepali Maoists and Indian Leftist parties as the key campaign issue and encouraged leaders of the Madhesi people (those who live in the plains of Nepal, with closer cultural ties with Indians) to oppose Maoism in Nepal. In 2008, Muslims reportedly attacked his convoy en route for Azamgarh where an anti-terrorism rally was being held. The attack left one person dead and at least six persons injured.