Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has written to his Tripura counterpart Manik Sarkar urging to unite against the Centre’s new law on cattle trade and slaughter. Sangma, in his letter on Friday night, said the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, is an infringement of a state’s rights to regulate items on List-II of the State List which include cattle market.
“The Centre should have trodden carefully after due consultations with state governments before proposing changes in the regulation of livestock markets.”
Sangma also termed the move as “a complete infringement of the states’ domain which needed to be collectively and strongly resisted”.
“The state governments must assert collectively to dissuade the Union Government from such actions which directly dilute the federal structure of our great nation. This notification will set a very wrong precedence in negating the spirit of the federal structure,” the Congress leader added in the letter.
He also called for the promotion of “cooperative federalism” in true spirit.
Meghalaya’s opposition National People’s Party (NPP) had also differed with its ally Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the move and demanded its withdrawal. Meanwhile, Conrad K. Sangma, the lone NPP member in the Lok Sabha, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and direct the Environment Ministry to de-notify the new rules in the larger interest of the people.
Conrad, in an open letter to Modi, said the new law imposes a number of restrictions on cattle trade that would have a serious impact on the socio-cultural and economic milieu of millions, especially those in the agricultural and related industrial sectors.
The new rules violate the basic right of a person to freedom of choice regarding his food, he added. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 was notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on May 23. It bans the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets across India.