Bharatiya Janata Party legislator T Raja Singh from Telangana quit the party on Sunday to concentrate on his efforts to prevent cow slaughter.

He claimed he had raised the matter of cow protection several times in the Assembly but “the party did not provide any support”. Singh said he resigned as he did not want to embarrass the party.

“For me dharma [and] nation are first, politics [is] next,” Singh, who represents the Goshamahal Assembly constituency in Telangana capital Hyderabad, said in a tweet. “GauRaksha [protection of cows] is what I would be working on.”

Singh claimed that around 3,000 cows will be slaughtered in the state ahead of the Islamic festival of Eid ul-Adha next week, and added that he would try to save these animals. “For cow protection...we will kill or we will die,” PTI quoted him as saying. “Our aim is to see that cows are not slaughtered.”