The BJP is ignoring farmer suicides in states it is in power by focusing on stringent laws to check cow slaughter, the saffron party’s ally Shiv Sena said on Monday.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna, the Sena also slammed the BJP for not taking any decision on a beef ban in the northeastern states of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh where it runs the government.
“We congratulate those who consider cow-slaughter a crime, but what about farmer’s suicides. The suicide of these farmers should be considered as a culpable homicide and it should be clarified on who should be termed as criminal; who should be sentenced to life and hanged,” the editorial said.
The editorial comes days after BJP-ruled Gujarat amended a law to award up to life imprisonment for cow slaughter. In Uttar Pradesh where the saffron party swept to a landslide win last month, the chief minister has launched a crackdown on illegal abattoirs and several meat shops have been set on fire by alleged Hindu activists. Last week, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh said that those who kill cows in his state would be “hanged”.
The Sena editorial said to stop cow slaughter, it is important to save farmers in Maharashtra. “The situation of these farmers is worsening. In such a condition, should they feed themselves or the livestock? The government should think about it,” the article added.
The Sena criticised the BJP for not imposing a beef ban in the Northeast. “Beef is a staple diet in North-Eastern states, however, no one will dare to impose beef ban there,” it said. It also pointed out that though BJP was pushing for a nationwide beef ban, beef trade surged in the last couple of years.
The Sena and BJP are part of the NDA at the Centre but have had frosty ties in Maharashtra, fighting the recent Mumbai civic polls separately. The Saamna has hit out at the BJP several times in the past.
Last week, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to look into the “real issue” of farmer suicide on a petition that said more than 3,000 farmers had killed themselves in the past few years.