Won't ban beef in northeast if we come to power: BJP
While its government in Uttar Pradesh is shutting down illegal slaughterhouses, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Meghalaya have assured people that the same will not be the case in northeastern states. Amid fears of the BJP banning cow slaughter in Christian majority Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, the BJP's chief in Meghalaya released a statement that BJP's UP stand on slaughter will not be imposed in northeastern states.
Realising that BJP's drive against illegal abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh will have repercussions on poll-bound northeastern states where beef is consumed widely, the BJP chiefs have clarified the party's stand on the same. Meghalaya BJP unit general secretary David Kharsati said that 'groups with vested interest' were spreading rumours about BJP banning beef in the northeast.
"Ban on cow slaughter like the one in Uttar Pradesh will not be imposed in Nagaland if our party comes to power next year. The reality here is very different and our central leaders are aware of that," said Nagaland BJP unit chief Visasolie Lhoungu. All three states have a Christian majority with most of the population consuming beef. Slaughtering also takes place inside homes during festivals and family gatherings.
Out of the three states that will go to polls in 2018, the BJP has not won a single seat in Meghalaya and Mizoram while they managed to win two seats in Nagaland. With the foothold they have gained in Manipur and Assam, the BJP hopes to defeat the ruling Congress but the crackdown on abattoirs in UP has now become a new challenge for local BJP leaders to counter.
"There would be no ban on cow slaughter in Mizoram and other states in the region where there is a majority Christian population," said Mizoram BJP president JV Hluna. Meghalaya BJP chief Shibun Lyngdoh said that even in Uttar Pradesh the crackdown was only on illegal slaughterhouses operating without a licence but in northeastern states, there would be no ban. He, however, added that the government would ensure slaughter and sale of animals is done legally in a hygienic manner.