Government to propose to withdraw Cattle Bill, amend GCTOC Act

The Gujarat government is set to introduce a resolution in the state legislature on Wednesday to withdraw the controversial “Gujarat Cattle Control in Urban Areas (Keeping and Moving) Bill, 2022” ahead of the two-day assembly session.

It will also introduce an amendment to the Gujarat Terrorism and Control of Organized Crime Act, 2015, which proposes three amendments, including a definition of “organised crime”.

Vinod Moradia, Minister of State for Urban Development and Urban Housing, is about to formally inform the Speaker about Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat’s move to withdraw the bill and ask the government to reconsider it. Because of the upcoming state assembly elections, the BJP government is under immense pressure to withdraw the bill passed six months ago.

The minister is then expected to move a motion to withdraw the bill on the first day of the two-day session of the assembly, which will be the last assembly of legislators before the elections. The bill was passed by the Gujarat government on March 31, 2022, the last day of the budget session, despite protests from Congress legislators.

Members of the Maldhari community agitated against the bill and the state government kept the bill “postponed” till the issue was cleared.

However, facing relentless agitation and keeping in mind the upcoming elections, the state government has decided to withdraw the bill, which has restricted the movement of cattle in eight municipal corporations and 162 municipalities in the state, and defaulters proposed to be kept in jail.

According to one of the amendments to the ordinance, “continuing unlawful activity and terrorist acts, including extortion, land grabbing, contract killing, economic offenses, cyber crimes with dire consequences, running a large-scale gambling racket, human trafficking racket”.

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