Why the ‘farmgate’ scandal has created a political storm
The scandal surrounding the feeding of animals in India is taking a major toll on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
While the controversy has generated more than a billion dollars in damages, it is the Prime Minister’s own political ambitions that have caused the biggest damage.
Modi, who is battling a long-term health problem, is under a severe amount of pressure to deliver on his promised ‘Make in India’ campaign.
He is also facing growing criticism for his handling of the farmgate scandal.
The prime minister is facing a tough re-election campaign with a majority of his own party members, including Modi’s closest allies in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), demanding his resignation.
Since the scandal broke in September, Modi’s office has said that he was unaware of the scheme, which allowed some cows to be sold for meat.
But a government official, who spoke to Fox News on condition of anonymity, told Fox News the Prime Minster did know about the arrangement.
“We don’t have any knowledge of the feeding operation, but the Prime minister knows about it.
He knows that some cows were being sold for food in the city,” the official said.
“This is an issue for the BJP.
The government has decided to go to the Supreme Court to demand that the Prime Chief Minister resign,” he added.
Modi’s spokesman denied the allegation.
Despite the fact that the prime minister knew about the issue, he insisted that his government had acted in good faith.
“This government has always acted in a very professional and ethical manner,” Modi spokesman Manish Sisodia said.
“We have taken all necessary steps to ensure that the animals were not put at risk.
We are committed to a clean environment and we have always taken action against anyone who has endangered the animals.”
Modi himself has not denied the allegations, and said he is taking the matter very seriously.
“If there is any suggestion that the minister was involved in a corruption scheme, I am confident that he will fully understand the gravity of the situation,” Sisogia told reporters in New Delhi on Tuesday.
“The government will take all necessary action against those who have violated the rules and laws.”
The scandal is a major blow to Modi’s reputation and the BJP is set to lose the election, which it hopes to win in 2019.
In a statement, the government said it will be launching a “thorough and thorough investigation” into the farm scandal.
The Prime Minister has faced calls from his own BJP colleagues for his resignation, but he has repeatedly insisted that the investigation is not over.
Modis political rivals have slammed the government’s handling of it.
Congress leader Arun Jaitley has said it is a political vendetta against Modi.