Would Union provide health insurance if cow hits me while I hug it?: Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asked whether Union government would provide health insurance if a cow attacked a person while celebrating “Cow Hug Day.”

The Trinamool Congress supremo made the statement while referring to an appeal by the Animal Welfare Board of India to mark Valentine’s Day as “Cow Hug Day”. The notice was withdrawn later.

“I go to show physical affection towards a cow, fine but what if it injures me with its horns,” Banerjee asked while addressing the state Assembly.

“Will they [Union] ensure health insurance? They should do that first. The [Rs 5 lakh] Swasthya Sathi [state-run health insurance scheme] won’t do, they should give a Rs 10 lakh insurance for this, then we will go about embracing cows,” she said.

“What do they [Bharatiya Janata Party] have in place of brains, I do not know,” Banerjee said.

“…Now please also think of something with other bovine creatures, such as buffaloes. They have bigger horns. How about a Rs 20 lakh insurance for hugging buffaloes?” she asked.

Cow protection is one of the ideas by Hindu right-wing organisations such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Over a hundred of Muslims were killed in more than two hundred cases of cow-related violence reported across India between 2012 and 2022.