Updated: November 21, 2021 8:45:31 am
Gujarat BJP chief CR Paatil Saturday said he has instructed Mayors not to take coercive actions against those selling non-vegetarian food on roadside carts in the name of hurting religious feelings. The statement came after BJP-ruled civic bodies issued directives to remove all carts and stalls selling non-vegetarian food from the main roads.
“Everyone in this country has the liberty to decide what to eat. It is not appropriate to remove a person selling non-vegetarian food on a cart if people are buying from him. There is no such provision in the law either. People are free to sell anything that is not prohibited. So, there is no question of removing carts (from roads),” Paatil said Saturday in Rajkot.
However, when pointed out that the Rajkot Mayor and office-bearers of the Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation have ordered the removal of non-vegetarian food carts from the roadsides citing hurt to religious sentiments, the BJP president said: “They all have been instructed not to do any such thing.”
Incidentally, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) had launched a drive earlier this month to remove non-vegetarian food carts saying they were encroaching on the city roads and the public display of such food items was hurting the religious sentiments of the vegetarians. Soon, other civic bodies in the state followed the suit and took similar action.
However, Paatil as well Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel asserted last week that people were free to eat whatever they liked. At the same time, the CM had also said the removal of encroachments in cities was a decision of the respective civic bodies.
Meanwhile, addressing a gathering of industrialists in Rajkot Saturday, the BJP chief assured the government would facilitate the growth of industries by removing bottlenecks and providing facilities. However, he also asked industrialists to see to it that factories do not cause pollution.
“There would be other problems, too, including pollution. But you are not raising them because we tend to think that causing pollution is our right,” Paatil said, adding the general perception about the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) among industrialists is that of a ‘police’ who punishes polluters. “But its actual work is to educate people, to guide industries the type of plants and machinery to install to reduce pollution and within how much time. Only then can we solve the problem.”
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