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No countrywide ban on beef: BJP

Fri 29 May 2015, 11:13:27
New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah ruled out a countrywide ban on beef and left the decision to state governments keeping in mind “sentiments of the people”.

Maharashtra and Haryana governments have already banned beef, but six other BJP ruled states have stayed away from wading into the sensitive issue.
Stating the party’s stand on the food habits, post the controversial comment by Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi that those eating beef should go to Pakistan,  Shah said at Panaji that “wherever there is BJP government, we will consider sentiments of the people before imposing ban on beef. We have not said that we will be banning beef across the country.”  

On Wednesday, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju stumped his senior colleague Naqvi and the establishment over the issue.  He argued against restriction on eating habits in a secular country like India. But the junior minister from Arunachal Pradesh later issued a clarification that Hindu sentiments should be respected in states dominated by them.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has been reiterating its demand of bringing a legislation to ban cow slaughter and passed a resolution on Tuesday to “save cow” at its two-day Haridwar conclave. Though the BJP had come under fire for banning cow slaughter in two states,  Shah, on a specific question whether Goa should follow suit, said a decision will be taken “only after discussing the issue with the people.”

Refusing to endorse Naqvi’s remark, Shah emphasised that it was his “personal” view. “That was his personal comment. I have no comment to make. I can’t make personal comments. I am the party president,”  he told reporters.

Two days ago, Shah said the BJP did not have the mandate on pushing its agenda on Ram temple and Article 370, despite a hue and cry made by Hindutva affiliates over similar stand taken by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Of late, the Modi government and the BJP have been taking a public stand to stay away from the Hindutva agenda after “ghar wapsi” programmes generated political heat which threatened to dislodge the government’s development agenda.


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