The Bharatiya Janata Party began on Friday a 24-hour “cow protection yagna [fire ritual]” in Bengaluru, News18 reported. The Cow Protection Cell of the party’s Karnataka unit is organising the event.

State BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa and Bengaluru South MP Ananth Kumar are likely to attend the yagna, ANI reported on Tuesday.

The Cow Protection Cell said cows were an important part of the party and they would tell people about the benefits of the animal, TimesNow reported.

The event will include chanting of the Akhanda Ramayana and a dance performance by a group that will come from Janakpuri, the birthplace of Sita, the Cow Protection Cell said.

“We want to increase awareness because protecting the cow is important for the environment,” Siddhartha Goenka, the convenor of the cell, told News18. “The lakes of Bengaluru are badly polluted today because of illegal slaughter-houses which pollute them.”

Dinesh Gundu Rao of the state Congress called it a “diversionary tactic” ahead of the Assembly elections in Karnataka later this year, India Today reported.