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Meghalaya BJP leaders to hold beef fest against party beef ban

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SHILLONG: After Kerala MLAs, now many ex-BJP leaders and youth workers who had resigned from the party will hold ‘Beef Fests’ in in the hilly town of Meghalaya’s Tura on Saturday evening.

In a major setback to the BJP, nearly 5000 workers and several senior BJP leaders on Wednesday quit the party over the Centre’s new rules that aim to prevent sale of cattle for slaughter.

Two senior BJP leaders in Meghalaya, Bachu Marak and Bernard Marak, have also quit the party.

“I quit the BJP as the party was trying to impose Hindutva ideology on us. We feel out of place in the party. Eating beef is part of our tradition and fest is our way of showing how intrinsic cow meat is to our culture,” BJP’s former West Garo Hills district president Bernard N. Marak told Hindustan Times.

Talking about the Saturday party, Bernard said: “There will be music, food and festivities. We plan to start around 5.30pm and continue till late. Some people from neighbouring districts would also come. Nearly 2,000 attendees are expected”.

Bachu, the district president of the BJP in North Garo Hills quit the party saying, “As a responsible leader, I cannot mislead the people and allow them (BJP) to impose the non-secular ideology on us. They cannot impose the beef ban in our state. Beef is one of our traditional diet and no government can restrict people’s food habit. The moment they impose such restriction the ruling party would surely lose people’s confidence,” he said.

The central government has banned the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter, a move that is expected to hit export and trade of meat and leather.