Cattle slaughter ban row: BJP President Amit Shah is aiming for pan-India expansion of the party and northeast is crucial. But the Narendra Modi government’s recent notification banning trade of cattle in animal markets for slaughter dent BJP’s chances in northeast, chiefs of party’s state units have said, according to Indian Express report. Chiefs of BJP units in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim have said the implementation of the notification would hurt party’s pan-India image, according to IE report. In last few days two BJP leaders in Meghalaya have quit the party over the centre’s move and this may prove to huge blow for the party in the poll-bound state, according to report.
Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Das has said that the notification may have to be modified. Visasolie Lhoungu, chief of the party in Nagaland, claimed it is a matter of concern for people in Nagaland. Such decisions will create a feeling that the BJP is against the culture of North-East, he said. Amid this North Garo Hills district BJP president Bachu Marak had resigned days after West Garo Hills district Bernard Marak quit the party on the same issue.
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Sikkim BJP president Dal Bahadur Chauhan also said that no restriction that would affect dietary habits should be imposed. Arunachal Pradesh unit president Tapan Gao said the Centre could not be blamed for the notification as it was on the directions of the Supreme Court. He, however, said that it is not possible nor practical for Arunachal Pradesh to implement such rules. Meghalaya BJP president Shibun Lyngdoh blamed the opposition parties and assured nothing can go against the wishes of the people.
There were attempts to solve issue with Union minister Venkaiah Naidu saying that he himself is a non-vegetarian, and food is a matter of choice. Naidu also rejected the claims that BJP wanted to make everyone vegetarian. Meghalaya in-charge for the BJP Nalin Kohli accused the Congress of spreading this malicious untruth that BJP sought to impose a ban on beef in the state.
Shah is likely to visit Arunachal Pradesh next week. The BJP has been making inroads in the North-East where it is in power in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. The party is seeking to win most of the 24 Lok Sabha seats from these seven states in the 2019 General elections.