A senior BJP leader in Meghalaya, who had announced a beef party in his hometown to celebrate Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s three years in office, has resigned from the party. BJP district president of Garo Hills Bernard Rimpu Marak, who had joined the BJP last year, was understood to have been asked to put in his papers. He, however, insisted his resignation was to protest the BJP’s “stand on beef”.
“In the interest of the Garo people, I have put in my papers today as a mark of protest against the party’s stand on beef,” Marak told PTI.
“I have resigned because I am a Christian and a Garo first. Steps taken by the party, especially in the Garo Hills are not in the interest of the people,” he said.
Marak had in a Facebook on Wednesday said the BJP in Garo Hills will organise a “bitchy-beef party” to celebrate three years of Modi government. Bitchy is a local alcoholic brew made from rice which is consumed during festivals.
Reacting to Marak’s Facebook post, BJP spokesman Nalin Kohli had told reporters that the party will either sack him or ask him to tender his resignation.
“How can slaughter of an animal be a ground for celebration of Prime Minister Modi’s Government when the notification in itself is to prevent slaughter of animals,” Kohli had said.
Marak, a former leader of an armed militant group – the Achik National Volunteer Council – had recently said on the social media that the BJP, if voted to power in Meghalaya in 2018, will make beef cheaper, a statement which did not go down well with the party leadership.
The state BJP had disowned Marak’s remark although the state BJP chief, Shibun Lyndoh, admitted the party “is not against” people having beef.
Shibun said a tribal state like Meghalaya, where beef consumption is the highest in the country, cannot impose a ban against the will of the people.
“What we would like to have is regulations to check that slaughter houses are hygienic and clean in the interest of all beef eaters,” he said.