The Kerala Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution asking the Centre to withdraw its notification restricting the sale of cattle for slaughter. The ruling Left Democratic Front as well as opposition United Democratic Front legislators backed the resolution while te lone BJP legislator O Rajagopal opposed it during a special session convened to debate the issue.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan moved the resolution saying that the notification should be immediately withdrawn. He added that it threatens to destroy the state’s agricultural economy, jeopardise its food security and prevents free cattle trade. “This Assembly is requesting the Union government that it should accept the right of the state legislative Assembly to formulate rules and pieces of legislation in state issues.’’
He accused the Centre of trying to implement the the Sangh Parivar’s political agenda. “The Union government, in its three-year rule, could not keep the promises made during the elections. Hence, now the government is trying to divide the people by introducing a ban on cattle trade.’’ He said the notification should be withdrawn in the larger interest of the people. “The notification is impractical in Kerala, where 95 per cent of the population is non-vegetarian. It is clearly an intrusion into the citizens’ choice of food.’’
The resolution said the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Market) Rules, 2017, infringes upon the fundamental rights guaranteed to the people involved in the cattle trade.
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said the notification of the Centre was introduced with a malafide intention.
He called it Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “surgical strike”. Chennithala said the move marked “the arrival of fascism” in the country. “Modi has transformed himself into a neo-Hitler. The notification is a sugar-coated poison.’’
Rajagopal said the Assembly’s special session to debate the issue was a cheap political tactic “aimed at triggering people’s sentiments against the Union government” which has already indicated it is ready to make changes in the notification.