This was not the first time when Aqueel has brought up the issue, as he has consistently spoken about condition of old cows and need for protection of cows, which is considered sacred in India.
Aqueel said that while cow is termed as 'gau mata' and given status of mother, old cows are left to die. Those involved in trade of bones and fat of cow, kill the bovines. He said that the trade should be banned and there must be proper system in place to hold last rites of cows on government expense.
While minister for Animal Husbandry Kusum Mehdale praised Aqueel and even suggested giving him an award for his concern, she refused to take any action in this regard. The speaker suggested that the bill could later be introduced, after there is talk with religious gurus.
But Aqueel didn't back down. He kept raising the issue in the house. The MLA who represents Bhopal North Assembly seat and has won five times from the constituency since 1989, said that BJP is expected to ban the trade.
Muslim MLA speaks for cow conservation, BJP opposes it!
The BJP legislators created uproar but Aqueel remained defiant and stood his ground.
Finally, the speaker decided to take voice vote. The BJP being majority in the house, the bill was defeated by 55 to 31 votes.
Interestingly, most newspapers didn't report this debate in the Vidhan Sabha, properly though two newspapers carried it in their online editions. Read the report in Hindi newspapers and a brief report in the Agency below.
1. Government in a fix over Aqueel's private bill seeking ban on trade of cow fat, bones
2. Govt didn't accept proposal for last rites of cows
3. Agency report on the same issue