New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday lashed out at Haryana’s Health Minister Anil Vij over his remark that those who cannot live without eating beef should not visit the state and asked him to garner information on the ‘definition’ of beef before making such controversial statements.
“Clearly Anil Vij is agitating and can’t tolerate the current Chief Minister in the state appointed by the BJP. So, he is trying to stay in the news by making such controversial statements,” Congress leader Pramod Tiwari told ANI.
Asserting that Vij was clueless regarding the happenings in his own department, he added that the minister was unaware about the definition of beef as well.
“Just as he is clueless about the Constitution, he is clueless about the definition of beef. We do not eat cow meat anyway, but he needs to education himself on what is beef exactly,” Tiwari said.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) took a passive stand over the matter saying that there are different laws in terms of banning of beef and that action must always be taken within the ‘legal framework’.
“There are different laws in terms of banning of beef and those have been there for a long time in different states. On the other side, the eating habits of individuals which is also an issue. But whatever has to be done needs to be done in the legal framework,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI.
Earlier, Vij created a furore by saying that those who consumed beef should defer from visiting Haryana.
“There are some countries we don’t visit because food and drinking habits there don’t suit us. Likewise, those people who can’t live without eating beef should not come to Haryana,” Vij told the media.
Vij said Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has clarified that there is no plan for licences to allow foreigners to have beef in Haryana, where there are stringent cow protection laws in place.
However, a day after Khattar was quoted as saying that he was open to relax the beef ban for foreigners in the state, his OSD stated that the Chief Minister had said any such move can be possible only if there’s a provision in the cow protection Act, passed by the Assembly last year.
“There is a ban on liquor in Gujarat, but there is a special permission under which foreigners can consume alcohol. Likewise, the CM was asked whether there would be any special permission under which foreigners could eat beef in the state, to which he replied that people of Haryana do not eat beef and are against cow slaughter. But, he said, if there was any provision in the Act, it was possible; otherwise it wasn’t,” Jawahar Yadav, OSD to the Chief Minister, told ANI.
Under the provisions of the law, cow trafficking, slaughtering and eating beef are banned in the state.
The law clamps a complete ban on cow slaughter in the state and provides for imprisonment ranging from three years to 10 years for killing the animal. (ANI)