Haryana Health Minister Anil Vij said on Wednesday that “those who cannot live without beef” should not visit the state. The statement comes shortly after Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar sparked off a controversy by saying that he was open to a relaxation in beef ban for foreigners, a statement he backtracked on the next morning.
Speaking to mediapersons in Ambala Wednesday, Vij said, “Those who cannot live without eating beef should not come to Haryana. What is the need for them to come here? There are many countries Indians do not visit because of their food habits.”
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Speaking to The Indian Express over phone, Vij reiterated his comments. “The Chief Minister made a statement that a special licence could be given to foreigners for consuming beef. He later clarified that this would not be done. I feel those who cannot live without eating beef should not come to Haryana,” he said.
He further said, “I am a vegetarian. I avoid going to functions where I know non-vegetarian food will be served. Haryana has stringent laws for protection of cows. There is no provision under which special licences can be given for consuming beef.” Vij had last year started a campaign to replace tiger with cow as national animal.
Haryana Animal Husbandry and Dairying Minister O P Dhankar steered away from the controversy. “The CM has already said that the government is not thinking about giving licences for consumption of beef… It is a sensitive issue and nothing more should be said on it,” he said.