Leaders and workers of the BJP's Meghalaya unit who quit the party in the last few days are all set to organise a beef festival on Saturday. Nearly 5,000 workers from the Garo hills and many leaders quit the BJP over the centre's new cattle trade law that bans sale of cattle for slaughter.
Leaders like Bernard N Marak, BJP's district president in West Garo Hills, Bachu C Marak, the North Garo Hills district president quit the party within four days of each other to register a protest. The beef festival is expected to be organised in Tura of Christian-majority Meghalaya. At least 2,000 people are expected to be present at the event which will serve beef dishes and alcohol.
"I quit the BJP as the party was trying to impose a 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," said Bernard N Marak, an ex-BJP leader. The event is expected to begin at 5.30 PM on Saturday.
While the BJP unit in the hill state maintains that the resignation of these leaders would not hamper the party, Garo Hills region has 24 of the total 60 assembly seats and is crucial. Both leaders who quit are from the region and the number of workers quitting BJP over differences is high.