Senior BJP leader Sunil Deodhar on Tuesday ruled out the contention that the government has any intention of implementing a ban on the consumption of beef in Tripura. “If the majority of the population of a state is against the idea of beef consumption, chances are high that we will impose a ban in that area. Keeping in mind that most of the people in the north-east consume beef on a regular basis, the government will not implement the ban here,” Deodhar was quoted as saying by ANI.
Deodhar, who was BJP’s in-charge for recently-concluded Tripura assembly elections, added, “The north-east region mostly consists of Christians and Muslims. A few Hindus also consume meat here. This is why there is no ban on beef consumption here.”
As per data released by National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) in 2014, north-eastern states featured on the top 10 most frequent consumers of beef or buffalo in the country. Meghalaya topped the list with nearly 81 per cent of the population consuming beef or buffalo. While the figure for Nagaland was 57 per cent, for Mizoram it was 23 per cent.
Last year, the Centre’s notifications to ban the sale of cattle for slaughter across the country triggered considerable unease among several factions, including its own BJP leaders. Some of the leaders in Meghalaya also quit the party, accusing it of trying to impose a blanket ban on consumption of beef, which is eaten widely in the region.
NPP chief and present Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma had also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard last year. “The Rules, among other provisions, impose a number of restrictions on cattle trade which would have serious impact on the socio-cultural and economic milieu of millions of people,” he said.