<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eyeing the panchayat election next year, Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government has decided to distribute calves among the people of the state. Authorities, however, maintain that it would be done in order to boost milk production in the state.State Animal Resources Development Minister Swapan Debnath said the target was to distribute 2,000 female calves. “We will be identifying families first. The livestock should go to needy people who want to rear animals. Along with cows, they will also be given fodder and medicine. Once the beneficiaries are identified, they will be verified with the help of respective zila parishads,” Debnath told DNA. He, however, maintained that the move had nothing to do with the panchayat polls next year. “It is nothing new. It is an ongoing process. Just like we give out chicks and ducklings to make families self-reliant, it is an extension of the scheme which will help the needy families earn their livelihood,” he added.A committee would also be formed to ensure that the cows are not killed for meat. Political analysts said it was an attempt to counter BJP’s monopoly with cows and to send out a positive message to Hindu voters of the state.Asked about the distribution of cows ahead of panchayat elections Debnath said, “If we keep on thinking along that line, then there can be no developmental work done. Our government has led to an increase in milk production by 16 per cent. We want to take it even further.”Debnath also clarified that the project will not be confined to any particular district, but will be carried out across the state.Move and AimThe state will be distributing 2,000 female calves to the needy across the state. Authorities say the move is aimed at boosting milk production in the state.

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West Bengal govt gifts calves ahead of Panchayat polls