After some BJP leaders in Meghalaya resigned over the issue of beef ban, senior party leader Himanta Biswa Sarma from the neighboring state of Assam on Wednesday asserted that the BJP governments in Northeast have no intention to impose any dietary restriction on people. “We are in power in Assam and people are eating beef there in day-to-day life. Where is the ban? There is no intention of the state government to impose any restriction,” said Sarma.
“We have not done so in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur and we are in government in both states as well,” added Sarma, who is the BJP-led North-East Democratic Alliance convener.
The BJP has come under immense pressure form the opposition, after the Centre recently passed a notification banning the sale and purchase of cattle at animal markets for slaughter. Some BJP leaders from the poll bound state of Megahalaya have quit the party, accusing it of trying to push the ‘beef ban’, in-spite the fact that the meat is widely consumed in the region.
Sarma dismissed claims that talk around controversial ban had gained resonance among the masses, adding issue was becoming part of political rhetoric in Delhi rather than being a cause of concern for people in the Northeaster states.
The notification is about regulating cattle trade which has always been there in some form, added Sarma.
“Some people have made it look like that the only issue in the Northeast is beef. It has been portrayed as if people here eat beef from morning to night and there is no other thing. People are asking for roads, rail, jobs… The beef issue has been blown out of proportion,” he told PTI.
Targeting the Congress, BJP’s main opposition party in the region, he said it has created a “very negative impression” of the region by raking up the issue. “The Congress is trying to popularise beef eating.”