CONGRESS LOK Sabha MP Ranjit Ranjan on Friday brought up the issue of crackdown on slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh during a discussion on a Bill to declare a footwear institute of national importance. Ranjan said that on one hand the government is bringing a Bill that it claims will help promote leather business, and on the other the new BJP-led government in UP is forcing meat out of the state. She wondered whether Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will one day come to the House and ask for leather upholstery of the seats to be replaced with saffron clothes.
“You say this Bill is of national importance… (and yet) leather products are being removed from the residence of your chief minister…abattoirs are being shut,” she said. “In Kanpur, in the name of the Ganga, small leather factories are being shut. On one hand you are projecting a vegetarian India, on the other you are promoting leather. I don’t understand this.” Ranjan also asked whether the government is thinking of importing leather.
The Congress MP made the remarks while initiating the discussion on Footwear Design and Development Institute Bill, 2017, which was moved for consideration and passage by Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The Bill seeks to declare the Footwear Design and Development Institute (FDDI) as an institution of national importance. Earlier, while moving the Bill, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it is to declare FDDI as an institution of national importance. This decision was taken after looking at several options, including whether the institute could be made a deemed university, she said.
Sitharaman also said that the institute is doing “exemplary work”, and the courses offered are “wide and varied”. The institute was affiliated to the Indira Gandhi National Open University until 2012, and was subsequently affiliated to a university in Rajasthan. By 2014, this was also discontinued. To ensure that students do not suffer, the decision was taken to declare FDDI as an institution of national importance, the minister said. The Bill provides for “promotion and development of quality and excellence in education, research and training in all disciplines relating to footwear and leather products design and development”. Gajendra Singh Shekawat (BJP) took a dig at Congress MP Ranjan, saying that she might not have understood the importance of the Bill.