Amit Shah rules out nationwide beef ban
In a press conference addressed by Shah at the party office in the national Capital on May 26, he claimed that he didn’t see a ‘cow’ in North East, while replying to a query raised by Millennium Post over the issue. In a media interaction in Goa, Shah said it is for the states to take a decision on it keeping in mind the sentiments of the people. “Wherever there is BJP government, we will consider the sentiments of people before imposing <g data-gr-id="37">ban</g> on beef. We have not said that we will ban beef across the country,” he said.
BJP governments in Maharashtra and Haryana have banned beef. However, Shah clarified that they have no intention to ban beef nationally and it is up to the BJP-ruled and other states to take the call. “The Goa government will take a decision only after discussing the issue with <g data-gr-id="32">people,”he</g> said.
With NDA’s effort for a nationwide ban on cow slaughter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Act East Policy seems to be in a rough weather, after Shah was questioned by his own supporters during his North-East tour on what would be the government’s stand on the contentious issue.
Recently in March, raising the issue during the Zero hour at Rajya Sabha, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien said the issue should not be looked through the “religious prism as lot of people besides minorities, including Dalits and those in the Northeast, eat beef which is poor man’s protein”.
Shah, during an exhaustive North-East tour to strengthen the party base, came across several uncomfortable questions by his own state leaders on banning beef and atrocities on Christians in other parts of India. On April 2014, before coming to power, Modi, while hinting towards “cow slaughtering” said in a public rally, “This country wants a Green Revolution but those at the Centre want a Pink Revolution.” Later after coming to power Maharashtra and Haryana banned beef, which led to massive protest from all spheres including resistance from the political parties. Now with the objections coming from the camp itself, BJP is all set to dilute the issue.
Party leaders feel that unless BJP gave up the issue, it would be difficult for them to fight politically with the Congress and other local parties in the states, especially in Mizoram where 87 per cent people are Christian and only 3.6 <g data-gr-id="41">per cent</g> are Hindu.
In other North-Eastern states too, Hindus are in <g data-gr-id="26">minority</g> and the saffron party needs to address the issue “carefully” before going for a long political leap.