Stray dog issue: Why give importance to Maneka Gandhi, asks Kerala BJP


Kerala BJP on Friday asked the ruling LDF in the state why was it attaching “over importance” to the statements of Union minister Maneka Gandhi on the stray dog issue. BJP Kerala chief Kummanam Rajasekharan alleged that the state government was trying to “run away from its responsibilities” of checking the stray dog menace by blaming her.

Union minister Maneka Gandhi at the Press conference on one Year Modi Govt in new Delhi on Tuesday. Express Photo by Prem Nath Pandey. 02.06.2015.

In an open letter to state Minister for Local Administration KT Jaleel, posted on Facebook, Rajasekharan claimed that Maneka was making these statements as an “animal rights activist”. His reaction came in the wake of Jaleel’s sharp criticism of the Union Minister for Women and Child Development in the Assembly on Friday over her “frequent interventions and statements” against the state government’s initiatives to check the stray dog menace.

“As many as 10 people in the state have been killed in stray dog attacks in the last 10 months. As it is the state government’s responsibility to protect the lives and assets of the people, why is it blaming the Centre?” Rajasekharan asked. “How long can you (state government) run away from your responsibilities by blaming the Union minister and the Centre?” he asked.

The state BJP chief also wanted to know “why was so much importance being given to the statements of the Union minister on the issue of stray dogs”. Rajasekharan also suspected the involvement of some “mafia”, who were “not keen to put an end” to the stray dog menace, behind the latest controversy.

Earlier in the day, the lone BJP member in the Assembly, O Rajagopal, also said in the House that the state should not “backtrack” from its initiatives over the statement of an “individual Union minister”. The stray dog issue again hit the headlines in Kerala after the gruesome killing of a 90-year-old man, Raghavan, who was mauled to death by a pack of street dogs at Varkala on 26 October.