The Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government has registered an FIR against Mehsana Milk Federation, Gujarat, slapping corruption charges against it for having donated Rs22 crore to Maharashtra for buying fodder for animals in drought-hit areas.
The Mehsana Milk Federation recently asked the Maharashtra government to return the Rs22 crore it had donated. "How can we return it? It has already been spent on buying fodder for almost nine lakh animals," Nawab Malik, NCP spokesperson, said.
He criticised Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate. "A person who does not even spare animals cannot be the prime minister of India. How come the Gujarat government forced the local police to lodge an FIR against Mehsana Milk Federation, which helped Maharashtrian farmers in crisis? We strongly condemn this."
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said: "Last year, farmers in drought-hit areas in the state told me that cattle had blisters in their mouths because of eating too much raw sugarcane. They wanted smoother fodder."
Pawar sought the help of various NGOs and social firms. "Mehsana Milk Federation officials told me that Gujarat and Maharashtra were like brothers... If animals in Maharashtra were suffering, it was the duty Gujarat to offer help. They donated Rs22 crore," Pawar said.
Malik said the Modi government was unhappy. "Fearing Modi, the federation started demanding the money back. Let them go to court for the money. If the court tells us to return it, we will do so," he said.
Sachin Sawant, Congress spokesperson, said the BJP has shown its true colours towards starving animals. "People should think twice before voting for such a party," he said.
Vipul Chaudhari, chairman, Mehsana Milk Federation, was not available for comment.