Narendra Modi-Led Bharatiya Janata Party could curb beef exports if it takes power after elections

May 11 2014, 06:42 IST
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Lok Sabha polls show Narendra Modi's BJP taking most seats in mammoth election (AP) Lok Sabha polls show Narendra Modi's BJP taking most seats in mammoth election (AP)
SummaryLok Sabha polls show Narendra Modi's BJP taking most seats in mammoth election

with the BJP and people involved in beef production and exports are common.

"The situation would get worse for us under a BJP government," said one truck driver who transports livestock. Giving his first name as Guddu, he complained of harassment by some Hindu organisations while on the road.

"We do oppose cow slaughter and we do act against it ... Why should it be allowed when cow is sacred to millions of Hindus?" said Prakash Sharma, spokesman for one leading Hindu organisation.

The next government must ban beef exports, added Sharma, whose group, the Vishva Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council, is part of an umbrella group of Hindu nationalist organisations that includes the BJP.

Hindu-Muslim relations have been a key election issue, with critics accusing BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of not doing enough to protect Muslims in a spasm of religious violence in the western state of Gujarat in 2002 that left at least 1,000 dead.

Modi, chief minister of Gujarat, has denied any wrongdoing and a Supreme Court inquiry found no case to answer.

Some in the industry said that a BJP victory would only have a limited impact on exports, however. Government figures show these increased to $3.2 billion in 2012/13 from $1.9 billion in 2010/11, boosted by robust demand for cheap, lean Indian halal meat.

India trails only Brazil in beef exports, with a 20 percent market share, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures.

"Any major restrictions on exports are unlikely because meat exports are a big source of earning for the government," said Salim Qureshi, a top supplier of buffalo in the northern town of Aligarh.

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