‘Saffron party not in favour of beef-eating’
SHILLONG, Aug 1: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said it is not in favour of encouraging beef-eating.
“We are definitely not in favour of beef-eating,” BJP national general secretary Arun Singh said in the party’s state office in Shillong.
His statement followed newly-elected BJP Minister Sanbor Shullai’s call to the people of the state to eat more beef than chicken, mutton or fish to not let people think the party would impose a cow slaughter ban.
Reluctant to elaborate on the consumption of beef, Singh said the president of BJP’s Meghalaya unit would be better placed to talk on the impact of the Assam law.
“I have met hundreds but nobody told me about it. I am not aware of it,” he said, trying to be evasive.
Singh also dodged questions on the issue of the Inner Line Permit (ILP), especially after Shullai’s claim that Meghalaya can get ILP in five minutes if the BJP is voted to power in 2023.
“Development should be the top priority. People want houses, employment, health, road and rail connectivity. We are concentrating on issues that are more important,” he said.
“Our aim is to improve the quality of life and standard of living. Let us concentrate on these,” Singh said. He hoped the Centre would look into the ILP issue forwarded by the state leaders.
Shullai clarifies on ‘eat more beef’ remark
Newly-appointed Cabinet Minister, Sanbor Shullai has written a letter to Umakant Lakhera, President, Press Club of India, claiming that his “eat more beef” comment has been highly exaggerated and misunderstood by media houses.
“The whole statement has been given a new dimension with a few media houses editing the actual press briefing leading to a different interpretation of what was said by me. The beef comment was particularly made in context to the state of Assam where a ban on it created a panic among the indigenous tribal and other communities in Meghalaya who consume it and consider beef as a staple diet,” Shullai said in the letter. He also said that people of Meghalaya have a fear that if they vote BJP to power, the same would be applied here. “So, to eradicate any such fears against the BJP, I wanted to tell the indigenous tribal people here in Meghalaya that they will be able to continue to eat more beef without the fear of any item being banned in the state. Thus, my only intent was to tell the citizens of Meghalaya that no such rule would ever come to affect the lives of the indigenous tribal people here in the state and not for any other purpose,” he added.
“I hereby appeal to all the citizens of our country and to the people of the state of Meghalaya that they should not get carried away by misquoted and misinterpreted news articles. These are tactics used by the opposition and vested individuals who look to jump on any opportunity,” he mentioned in the letter.
“I assure the indigenous tribal people of Meghalaya that the BJP is here to protect us and our unique heritage and that it will never interfere with the socio-cultural way of the people,” the minister said.