Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said Sunday cow protection had its significance in agro-economics and it should not be perceived with “the narrow prism of politics or religion”.

Addressing a gathering at a function organised by the Jain International Organisation in Mumbai, he said there was an in-built relationship between cow, or cattle, and farmers, which was integral to rural economy. Referring to cow-related violence in the country, the CM said: “Violence in any form is not justified.” “I firmly believe cow is not about any religion or politics. It should be approached through science and agriculture, which provides the fundamental answers why we have always given such importance to cow/cattle. It has immense potential to provide a sustainable source of income and livelihood to farmers in the villages. When farmers are struck by natural calamity, a milking cow in their backyard remain the sole source of livelihood to override the crisis,” said Fadnavis.

The chief minister noted that prohibition of cow slaughter was part of the Constitution under Article 48, adding that looking after cows’ welfare was important for a better future. “We have to understand how cows have served the welfare of farmers in villages. Wherever the cow population has come down, it has had adverse impact on agriculture and farmers’ livelihood. There are instances of higher number of farmer suicides in such regions,” he said.