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Chicken makes way into Legislative Assembly

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, Mar 22 (UNI) Maharashtra Minister of State for Animal Husbandry Hassan Mushrif today relished a piece of roasted chicken offered to him by the Opposition members during a debate on a calling attention notice in the State Assembly to discuss inadequate compensation to poultry owners whose birds were culled after the outbreak of bird flu in some parts of the state.

Replying to the discussions on what steps the government was taking to instil confidence in the poultiry industry, which has suffered losses due to the avian flu, Mr Mushrif said ministers have been telling the people that properly boiled chicken was not harmful for consumption and that they were even publicly eating chicken to dispel fears.

Shiv Sena members Manikrao Kokate and Namdeo Pawar immediately put one box each of roasted chicken on the seats of Animal Husbandary Minister Anees Ahmed and Mr Mushrif, who took a bite before the boxes were asked to be taken out of the House by Presiding Officer Sudhakar Paricharak.

The act of the Opposition members was objected to by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshvardhan Patil. The Chair also voiced its displeasure over the incident to which, Leader of the Opposition Ramdas Kadam said the Minister himself had asked for the boxes which were displayed by the Opposition members, saying that he wanted to eat it.

Mr Mushrif while explaining his conduct said his intention was to dispel fears from the minds of the people about consuming chicken and eggs and provide relief to the Rs 38,000 crore poultry industry.

Interestingly, chicken is not being served in the Vidhan Bhavan canteen since the budget session began on March 13, as there is no demand.

Earlier, Mr Ahmed said the government had provided compensation of Rs 24 lakh to poultry owners in Jalgaon and Rs 1.3 crore in Navapur. He said efforts would be taken to provide poultry feed within 48 hours.

Intervening during the discussion, Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil admitted that the compensation of Rs 40 per bird given to the poultry owners was very low.

He said the relief package given earlier was shared by the Centre and the State government. ''We are ready to increase the amount of compensation and want the Centre also to do the same.

Talks are on with concerned authorities in the Central government and a solution should be ready within a week'', he added.

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