Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday announced the formation of a ministry for cows. With this, Madhya Pradesh becomes the second state after Rajasthan to have a ministry for cow welfare, NDTV reported.

“The cow ministry will replace the existing Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board,” Chouhan said at an event attended by Digambar Jain monk Vidhyasagar Maharaj in Khajuraho. “The government releases small funds to the board,” Chouhan said, according to PTI. “An independent ministry will work in a better way to serve cows.”

The chief minister said just one cow sanctuary in Agar Malwa district was not enough to shelter the animals and that more would be built.

Religious leader Akhileshwaranand Giri, who in June demanded a cow ministry, welcomed the move. Akhileshwaranand has Cabinet rank status in the state government by virtue of his position as the chairperson of the Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board. It is not yet clear who will hold the post of minister for cow welfare in Madhya Pradesh.

Madhya Pradesh is scheduled to hold Assembly elections later this year. On September 5, Congress leader Kamal Nath had promised to build cow shelters in every panchayat if the party is voted to power.