BJP Tells North-Eastern States That It Won’t Interfere With Their Food Habits, Including Beef Consumption
In a top-brass meeting of the BJP on September 5, the leaders from the North East were assured that the party would not be interfering in the food habits of the people in the region and shall have full respect for the indigenous customs and traditions, NDTV reported.
BJP had formed a coalition with the regional parties of the North-east called the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) last year. In the September 5 meeting, Amit Shah has expressed clearly that he wanted to see the alliance come to power in the eight states of the region.
In the September 5 meeting, Amit Shah expressed that he wanted to see the Alliance come to power in all of the eight states of the region.
Sikkim had become the first state in the North-east to ban all kinds of cow slaughter, with a punishment of minimum two years imprisonment. The delegation from the state, who attended the meeting, mentioned the law. BJP is part of the ruling alliance – the Sikkim Democratic Front. This was when Meghalaya leaders Paul Lyngdoh and MP Conrad Sangma asked for clarification. They enquired if the beef ban was a matter of policy.
Meghalaya is one of the four states in the North-east to go to polls within the next year, apart from Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. In June, some BJP leaders from Meghalaya had also left the party accusing it of not respecting local customs and food habits.
Himanta Biswa Sarma, a senior BJP leader and NDA convenor, reportedly intervened when the question about food habits came up in the presence of BJP president Amit Shah. Sarma assured the gathering that the BJP did not want to interfere with the food habits or local customs of people.
Sarma also went on to say that every state was at liberty to draft laws according to local customs and rituals. While Amit Shah did not speak on the subject, he reportedly went along with that.
The assurance comes just a day after the NDA government’s new tourism minister KJ Alphons called eating beef a matter of choice for Keralites. He also asserted that the Modi government is inclusive and “doesn’t really have a problem” with beef being consumed in his state Kerala and in Goa, which the BJP rules.