The BJP today sought to play down the “quality beef” remark by its candidate in the run up to the Malappuram bypoll and accused the CPI(M) and the Congress of raking up emotional issues to divert people’s attention from real problems. “Beef is not the main campaign issue in Malappuram. There are other major political issues for campaigning in the by-election,” party state general secretary M T Ramesh told reporters here.
He said the CPI(M)-led ruling LDF and the opposition UDF, led by Congress, were raising such issues as they were facing difficulties in answering questions raised by the BJP on political issues, including the “practice of adjustment politics” in the state by leaders of both Fronts.
“They do not have answers to the real political issues which we raise in the polls. So they are raising emotional issues to divert people’s attention from their real issues,” he said.
“We wouldn’t bite it,” Ramesh said when asked whether BJP candidate Sreeprakash’s beef remarks had put the party on the backfoot in the Lok Sabha constituency.
During the election campaign last week, Sreeprakash had reportedly promised the people of the constituency that he would offer “quality beef” if voted to Parliament in the April 12 by-poll and that slaughterhouses would be made air conditioned to ensure the quality of meat.
Ramesh said what Sreeprakash had said about beef was in response to questions asked by reporters and “that is not an important issue”. Sreeprakash had later said that his words had been distorted and what he meant was providing quality food to the people.