Whether cow slaughter has to be banned or not is something that the states should decide and the centre has nothing to do with it said the BJP. BJP leader Nalin Kohli, who is in-charge of the party's affairs in Meghalaya, said the state governments can decide on cow slaughter ban keeping in view the local food habits even as he admitted that in this state, a majority of the BJP leaders eat beef. The comment assumes significance as the BJP's Meghalaya unit has views divergent to its central leadership since its local leaders eat beef.
Every state government that decides to have a law or not have a law on cow slaughter, do so keeping in mind the local food habits of that particular state and in the North East every state government will keep this in account, he said.
Kohli said the Centre's notification banning sale of cattle in animal markets for slaughter is based on a Supreme Court order and recommendations made by a Parliamentary Committee. "The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules 2017 is based on recommendations of a Parliamentary Committee report, which included members of all political parties and a Supreme Court order, he said.
"The notification has nothing written on cow slaughter and beef ban. Any state can decide on this and we fully respect the federal structure. How can the Centre impose on the states? The Constitution does not permit that and the Constitution is the only book the BJP follows," said Kohli, who is a lawyer himself. With regard to the controversy, he blamed the Congress for "deliberate, false and fabricated rumours" on social media about the notification which "did not even have a word about beef or beef ban mentioned anywhere in it".
Can BJP be blamed for something that the Congress party enacted in 1960 following which the Supreme Court asked us (NDA government) to frame rules? The act is Prevention of Cruelty against Animals and the Congress framed it. If it (Congress party) wants to complain, it should complain against its leaders in the past who came up with the act," Kohli said.