On Congress Leader's Cheetah-Lumpy Virus Link Claim, BJP's Response

Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole does not even know where the Cheetahs were brought from, said Devendra Fadnavis.

On Congress Leader's Cheetah-Lumpy Virus Link Claim, BJP's Response

Nana Patole has a hobby of speaking without knowledge, said Devendra Fadnavis. (File)


Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Monday took a potshot on Congress leader Nana Patole over his 'Cheetah' remark, saying he speaks ignorantly for media attention.

"Nana Patole (Maharashtra Congress chief) does not even know where the Cheetahs were brought from. He has a hobby of speaking without knowledge as he knows it will run in the media. Otherwise, he won't be seen altogether," said Mr Fadnavis in Mumbai.

Mr Patole, the Maharashtra unit president of Congress, said on Monday that the Centre "deliberately" brought "cheetahs from Nigeria" to spread Lumpy Skin Disease to take revenge from the farmers over the withdrawal of the farm laws.

"This lumpy virus has been prevailing in Nigeria for a long time and the Cheetahs have also been brought from there. The central government has deliberately done this for the losses of farmers," he had said.

Blaming the Centre for the spread of Lumpy Skin Disease, Mr Patole had said, "(Congress interim president) Sonia Gandhi must give Nobel Award to Patole for his statement."

But in fact, eight cheetahs were brought to Gwalior from Namibia in a special plane as part of the cheetah reintroduction programme.

Nana Patole, talking to ANI on phone, said, "PM has never spoken to the farmers during the black laws (farm laws) which they rolled back, and by bringing cheetahs from Namibia they are taking the revenge. The lumpy virus came in India after cheetahs were brought from Namibia on PM Modi's birthday".

"I have not seen such a disease in my 55 years and neither my ancestors did. It is purposely brought so that these farmers face losses. One can make out the spot on cheetahs brought in India and the spot of lumpy on the cows are same. This disease already existed in Namibia and now it's spreading in India," he added.

Countering Mr Patole, BJP leader and State Cabinet Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha told ANI, "This is a laughable statement from Doctor Patole, his statement portrays this disease as a non-serious issue."

"Under the leadership of PM Modi, arrangements have been made for the cows to get vaccinated," he added. "if Sonia ji wants, she can give him Nobel prize from Congress side," he said.

Lumpy Skin Disease has severely affected dairy farmers in India. The virus has been found only in cows and buffaloes.