The issue of serving beef during Commonwealth Games today rocked Delhi Assembly with BJP MLAs protesting Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's remark calling them "communal-minded" for raising the matter, forcing an adjournment.
The issue was raised during 'discussion under special mention' by Leader of Opposition V K Malhotra who said Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta had made a statement that beef will be imported during the event to serve atheletes and officials.
Malhotra said Delhi Assembly had passed a legislation in 1994 under which storage and sale of beef is prohibited in the national capital.
Demanding a statement from Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit that beef would not be served during the event, he said it was obligatory on part of the government to ensure that the law is not violated.
"The Chief Secretary has told media that beef would be imported for the event. So many global sporting events like World Cup Hockey, International Shooting championship and IPL matches are taking place in Delhi where sportspersons from across the world are participating. But nobody has demanded that beef should be served. The law must be implemented in toto," he said.
As Dikshit did not respond to the repeated requests by Opposition for a statement on the issue, the BJP MLAs started shouting slogans against the government.
"If beef is served, we will not allow the Games to take place. Lakhs of people will come to the streets protesting against such move," senior MLA Jagdish Mukhi said.
When the House met after the usual brief break, Dikshit made a statement in the House saying that Mehta only said that this is an issue between Organising Committee of the event, the caterers and the MCD.
"The Chief Secretary has only made it clear that Delhi government has nothing to do with it. The MCD is supposed to give permission to the caterer and the Organising Committee will select the caterer," she said.
Unhappy over Dikshit's statement, Malhotra said it was a "very serious" issue and asked how could the Chief Minister "shy away from enforcement of the legislation passed unanimously by the Assembly".
To this, Dikshit insisted that this is an issue between Games organisers, MCD and caterer. "We have nothing to do with it. You are trying to make political capital out of it. Why don't you go to MCD? You are raising it because you are communal minded," she said.
Angry over Dikshit's remarks, BJP MLAs were soon on their feet shouting slogans demanding withdrawal of comments and trooped into the well of the House. Some of the Congress MLAs tried to counter their BJP counterparts.
As pandemonium continued, Speaker Yoganand Shastri adjourned the House for 15 minutes.