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Double standard: Kerala BJP assures AC abattoirs and ‘halal’ beef, if elected

Thiruvananthapuram: While the BJP in Uttar Pradesh has started a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses enforcing a ban on cow slaughter and illegal abattoirs and in Gujarat, the the ruling saffron party imposes life term for cow slaughter but its candidate from Kerala promises air-conditioned abattoirs and halal beef if elected.

In order to woo Muslim votes in the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader N. Sree Prakash, who is contesting the by-elections to Malappuram Lok Sabha seat, has said he will ensure that the slaughter houses in the district make available quality meat to all households and restaurants.

The beef products are consumed in large quantities in Malappuram district which is dominated by 65% of the Muslim population, Christains and a sizeable number of Hindus, which constitutes about 40%.

Addressing the media in Malappuram on Sunday, Prakash said,

“The ban in UP is against selling the meat of deceased and sick animals. Will Muslims eat meat which is non-halal? I assure you that I would ensure supply of halal meat in Malappuram if you elect me in the by-election. I will make the effort to establish good slaughterhouses, no doubt about that. You should not hesitate to vote for me on the ground that the BJP is supporting beef ban,’’ he said.

A senior Kerala BJP leader in response to Sreeprakash’s statement on Sunday said the party’s state unit holds nothing against consumption of beef in the southern state since there is no ban on it.

“As long as Kerala does not have a beef ban and people eat what they want, the BJP state unit is not against its consumption. The issue comes into play when there is a ban. Currently, there is no ban and hence nothing against the law,” Bharatiya Janata Party’s state General Secretary M.T. Ramesh told IANS.

“Cow meat is banned in most parts of the country while buffalo meat is not. As far as Kerala is concerned, there is no ban and hence what Sriprakash said is not against the law in Kerala,” Ramesh said.

Responding to Sreeprakash’s vote appeal, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury on Monday said, “Beef is not a matter of faith for the BJP, but a tool to target a particular community.”

Following Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s order to close down illegal slaughterhouses, several states including as many as five of the BJP-ruled states have followed in for the closure of illegal abattoirs across the country.

Several slaughter house owners and meat sellers in Uttar Pradesh have closed their shops following an indefinite strike call by different associations to protest against the order.

Even as the Jharkhand Government earlier last week issued an order for closure of all illegal slaughterhouses in the state within 72 hours, the Gujarat Assembly on Friday amended its Cow Protection Law introducing a life-term for those slaughtering the animal.

Seven illegal slaughterhouses were sealed in Bihar’s Rohtas district after the Patna High Court directed them be sealed within six weeks.

In Karnataka too, the Gau Samrakshana Prakoshta and Karnataka Federation of Gaushaalas reportedly have demanded 1,700 unauthorised meat shops in the city be closed down.

With ANI inputs