The DMK today came down strongly on the BJP-led central government over the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter, saying a situation had arisen where “we should eat only what the prime minister desires”. Leading a DMK protest here against the ban, party working president M K Stalin also warned of “another Marina revolution” (on the lines of pro-jallikattu stir) if the recent notification on the matter was not withdrawn.
Accusing the Centre of coming up with such notifications to cover up its three years of “non-performance”, he also questioned the “silence” of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on the issue.
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Recalling various promises made by the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Stalin said none of them, including ones about retrieving black money and creating jobs, had been fulfilled. “So, this ban, what we eat is now being restricted. A situation has come up where we should eat only what (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi desires. The civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution are being snatched. Freedom is being snatched,” he claimed.
He alleged that the Modi government was coming up with such notifications to divert people’s attention from issues plaguing the country. “Three years of BJP rule have passed. There are no schemes or achievements that benefit people. To cover that up and divert the attention of people, the BJP (government) is making such laws,” he said. He wondered if the central government had “deposited at least Rs 15 if not Rs 15 lakh” in the bank account of each citizen as promised by Modi in 2014 under his efforts to retrieve the black money stashed in foreign havens.
He questioned why Palaniswami had not responded although his counterparts in Kerala and West Bengal have opposed the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter. Palaniswami had on May 27 said he would comment on the Centre’s ban on cattle sale after going through the notification.
The DMK leader said though the BJP had given importance to cooperative federalism during the 2014 polls, it has now reduced states to “municipalities” and chief ministers to “municipal chiefs.” Stalin warned that if the notification was not withdrawn, “another Marina revolution” will happen. He was apparently referring to the pro-Jalliakktu protests held by scores of volunteers in January this year, following which the banned bull taming sport was allowed to be held in Tamil Nadu by amending the relevant act.
The DMK leader questioned the timing of the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter, saying it came amidst various difficulties being faced by the farmers in the country, especially in the drought-hit Tamil Nadu. He said today’s protest was the “first phase” and warned of more agitations if the notification was not withdrawn. The Congress also staged a separate protest on the issue in the city with the minority wing leading it.