Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 3 (ANI): In an effort to garner praise from Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi, Maharashtra party chief Nana Patole on Monday resorted to giving bizarre reasons to target the Bharatiya Janata party, saying that the Centre 'deliberately' brought "cheetahs from Nigeria" to spread Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) to take revenge from farmers for rolling back 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," said the Maharashtra Congress chief.
Patole blamed the Centre for the spread of Lumpy Skin Disease and said, "Sonia Gandhi must give Nobel Award to Patole for his statement."
But infact 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 disease in my 55 years and not my ancestors, it is purposely brought so that these farmers will 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 Patole, BJP Leader and Cabinet Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha talking to ANI said, "This is a laughable statement from Doctor Patole, he from his statement has made this disease as a non-serious issue."
"Under the leadership of PM Modi, arrangements have been made for the cows to get vaccinated".
Mangal Prabhat Lodha also added, "if Sonia ji wants she can give her Nobel prize from Congress side."
Lumpy Skin Disease has severely affected dairy farmers in India.
The virus has been found only in cows and buffaloes. There is no danger to humans in eating meat or using milk of animals that do not have the symptoms of Lumpy. Animals can be cured from Lumpy, however, the milk of such animals may get affected due to the virus.
As per reports, lumpy skin disease is a viral disease that affects cattle. It is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever and nodules on the skin and can lead to the death of the cattle.
Meanwhile, providing relief to the livestock of the country, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar on August 10 launched the indigenous vaccine Lumpi-ProVac to protect livestock from Lumpy skin disease.
Notably, eight cheetahs (5 females and 3 males) were brought from Namibia as part of 'Project Cheetah' as part of the government's efforts to revitalise and diversify the country's wildlife and habitat.
Cheetahs brought from Namibia were introduced in India under Project Cheetah, which is the world's first inter-continental large wild carnivore translocation project.
The cheetah was declared extinct in India in 1952 and have been brought under an MoU signed earlier this year.
The historic reintroduction of Cheetahs in India is part of a long series of measures for ensuring sustainability and environment protection in the last eight years which has resulted in significant achievements in the area of environment protection and sustainability.
The coverage of Protected Areas which was 4.90 per cent of the country's geographical area in 2014 has now increased to 5.03 per cent. (ANI)