Itanagar: The notification for banning the sale of cows for slaughter under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 by Union Environment Ministry has caught BJP leaders here off guard.
The proposed ban has evoked widespread protests, especially in Kerala and West Bengal. In the north east, leaders have joined the bandwagon of Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Takam Sanjoy to challenge the Centre over its implementation in Arunachal Pradesh.
Reacting to state BJP president Tapir Gao’s statement in Guwahati on Saturday, quoting a Supreme Court verdict to ban the consumption of beef or slaughter of cows is a state subject and the BJP as a party has nothing to do with it, Sanjoy described the BJP leaders as confused and giving out contradictory statements.
“When Gao said it is a state subject, north east people eat all kinds of meat, so individual food habits are not the party’s concern. The Centre or the BJP has never said don’t eat meat, nor is there any guideline in our party which states that a person cannot consume meat or beef. For that matter, why has the capital DC issued a notification banning cow slaughter,” Sanjoy asked.
Sanjoy told ANI that Chief Minister Pema Khandu had in his interview to a news channel on June 2 said: The Centre will have a re-look on the notification banning the sale of cattle for slaughter after consulting states.
“I think Narendra Modi is heading a very sensitive government. Recently, I came to know that Venakiah Naidu has given a statement that he will be consulting all state governments and will have a re-look at the notification,” said Khandu, who has admitted consuming beef himself, and saying that there is nothing wrong with that.
“Not just Arunachal, the north east as a whole is tribal dominated and are mostly non-vegetarian,” he said.
Accusing the Centre and several state governments of seemingly being governed by invisible teams, Sanjoy said they were dictating ‘what to eat and what not, what to wear and what not’ which were never seen since independence.
However, he wondered: Does Gao and Khandus’ contradictory views match the definition of government- the left hand does not know what the right hand doing, Sanjoy questioned who is trying to befool whom?
State tribal communities are mostly meat eaters. The meat trade, which provides sustaining livelihood to a large section of people across this tribal-dominant state, would be hit hard with far reaching consequences.
Imposing a blanket ban on cow slaughter clearly reflects the Centre and the BJP’s Hindutva agenda, Sanjoy said.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya BJP unit president Bernard Marak has quit the party yesterday, saying the BJP is trying to impose its ideology on the people. (ANI)