Two days after Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s reported statement that the Muslims can live in India, but they must give up eating beef, Union rural development minister Birender Singh has said that it is for people to decide what they want to eat.
“Let people decide what they want to eat or not,” said Birender Singh while talking to mediapersons here on Saturday.
Birender Singh also took a dig at political inexperience of Haryana chief minister and his links with the RSS and said, “Had he (Khattar) not joined the RSS, he would not be the chief minister today.”
Birender Singh, however, praised the Punjabi community which, he said, sprang back to life even after going through immense suffering during the partition of India. “Despite their sufferings during the partition, the Punjabi community has worked hard and that is why more than 25 lakh Punjabis are settled in the foreign countries,” he said.
Earlier speaking at a national seminar on rural transformation at Maharshi Dayanand University, Birender Singh expressed concern over poor educational system in the state and stressed the need for overhauling it.
He said that the central government had decided to spend `5,142 crore under the Ruraban Mission for the overall development of 3,000 villages on the pattern of cities in the next three years and generating employment for youth would be the first priority under this new scheme.
“More steps like employment, economic empowerment, strengthening of drinking water, education, electricity are required to upgrade villages like cities,” he added.
The minister said that rural transformation in India could be possible only through economic empowerment of villages and the rural sector. “The need of the hour is to ensure economic activities at the village level and facilitate rural entrepreneurship,” he added.
He said that rural transformation would require expansion of infrastructure at the village level, better education opportunities, and a change in mindset of people. “Mere economic development won’t ensure rural transformation as social-cultural development is also of utmost importance,” he added.