Responding to a question on MoS Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi’s remark that people who eat beef should go to Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: “All those who are in India will stay in India.”
MoS for Home Kiren Rijiu, present at the press conference to mark the completion of one-year of NDA government, said that his statement on people’s food habit was “twisted”.
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As reported by The Indian Express Wednesday, Rijiju, during a visit to Aizawl a day earlier, had said: “This is a democratic country. Sometimes, some statements are made which are not palatable. We have to honour the sentiments of each place and each location. For example, I eat beef, I’m from Arunachal Pradesh, can somebody stop me? So let us not be touchy about somebody’s practices.” Rijiju and BJP, both distanced themselves from the quote later on, with the minister going on to say he was “misquoted.”
After The Indian Express released the recording of his press conference, the minister Friday claimed he was citing a “hypothetical example”. Rijiju said, “To calm down the situation, I had the responsibility as a Union Minister whereby I gave a hypothetical example of myself that I am from Arunachal Pradesh and if I have a particular food habit, no one can stop. It was uncalled for to make that hypothetical example as a headline thereby making it sound as if I consume beef in real life and challenge the other communities to stop me. Even if nobody in my family consumes beef, it is our choice.”