Cattle trade rule has nothing to do with states’ cow slaughter laws: Jaitley
Finance minister defends notification banning sale of cattle for slaughter after it was criticised by BJP’s rivals as an attempt to “usurp power from state governments”india Updated: Jun 02, 2017 00:18 IST
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday that a recent notification on cattle trade “had nothing to do” with the cow slaughter laws in states, rejecting criticism that the government was encroaching upon states’ rights.
“The clarification has nothing to do with the state laws. This only deals with who can buy cattle from farmer’s market and who can’t,” Jaitley said at a press conference.
Slaughter of cow —considered sacred by Hindus — is banned in many states, but some allow it, in addition to the consumption of its meat.
On Thursday, Jaitley defended last week’s notification, saying, “Article 48 of the Indian Constitution says certain category of animals have to be protected”.
The notification said cows and buffaloes cannot be sold for slaughter at animal markets across India, allowing only farmland owners to trade at animal markets. Covering bulls, bullocks, cows and buffalos, the rule prompted criticism from several states where consumption of beef is not outlawed.
The most prominent disapproval came from chief ministers of states not ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“We won’t accept the Centre’s decision … it is unconstitutional,” Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said on Monday, dubbing the ban as an attempt to “encroach into state power”.
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan too last week urged his counterparts to raise their voice against the restrictions on cattle trade, saying the Centre’s “anti-federal, anti-democratic and anti-secular move” is an attempt to usurp power from the state governments.
On Thursday, Jaitley categorically stated the ban will not override the state laws.