Hitesh Chavda, Gandhinagar: Social activist turned political leader Alpesh Thakor today said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Gujarat has lied to the citizens about maintenance of cows housed at government-managed cattle pounds or panjrapols. He said that the cattle-pounds are actually facing a crisis for water and cattle-feed for the cows, especially the ones in Banaskantha and Patan districts which were flood-ravaged during the heavy rains last year.

The Congress-MLA from Radhanpur constituency today visited cattle-pounds in Banaskantha and donated his one month's salary for the purchase of cattle-feed for cows. He said, “I visited Banaskantha today with the motive of helping farmers and cattle-rearers and found that the BJP has been lying about providing help to cattle-pounds as they were facing a shortage of water and feed. I provided them with 9 trucks of feed for the cattle. The reason BJP lost 9 of the 14 seats in Banaskantha is that of their habit of lying to the farmers about providing them aid and help.”

The people I met, the beneficiaries who are supposed to get government aid have told me that when they approached the administration for compensation for their lost cattle and property, they were asked to show them the bones of their dead cattle as proof, added Thakor.

Thakor said, it is the responsibility of the government to protect the cattle housed in its pounds by providing it with adequate feed and water, but instead it is busy playing politics over cows. The cattle housed in these pounds are those which have no owner or the ones rescued from the smugglers. There are total such cattle-pounds in Banaskantha, and they are currently under acute shortage of feed and water for the cows.

Banaskantha was one of the districts that saw a heavy loss of lives, cattle, crop and other properties of people during the massive floods in July 2017. The government promised to provide aid and compensation to the people for their loss, but many claim they are yet to receive it.