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Mamata Banerjee is free to set her own rules on cow trade: Siddharth Nath Singh

The BJP national secretary alleged in Kolkata on Saturday that Mamata Banerjee is ‘communalising’ the issue.

kolkata Updated: Jun 04, 2017 18:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mamata Banerjee,BJP,Uttar Pradesh
The subject of cow trade in a matter of the state and West Bengal will not abide by the Centre’s ban on cow sale for slaughter, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said recently. (HT Photo)

Local trade is a state subject and chief minister Mamata Banerjee is free to form her own law on cow trade in Bengal, BJP national secretary and Uttar Pradesh health minister Siddharth Nath Singh said on Saturday.

“The Union government never imposed a blanket ban on cow trade or cow slaughter. It has set certain rules and want owners of slaughter houses to follow that. The opposition parties have started a malicious campaign saying Prime Minister Modi has intentionally imposed a ban during the month of Ramzan,” said Singh. One of the purposes of these rules, he said, was to stop slaughtering of ailing and aged cow and buffalo for human consumption.

Read: Beef fests to rejection: How states reacted to Centre’s notice on cow slaughter

Banerjee on Monday trained her guns on the Centre for banning the sale of cattle for slaughter across the country’s livestock markets, insisting that the decision was unconstitutional.

Tanneries and slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh need not worry if they are legal, Siddharth Nath Singh reiterated on Saturday. (HT Photo)

“We won’t accept the Centre’s decision, it is unconstitutional and we will challenge it legally,” she said.

Read: RSS Muslim wing to hold cow milk parties for Iftar, says healthier than beef

She minced no words, describing the ban as a deliberate attempt to encroach on the state government’s powers and was undemocratic and unethical.

“This is a state subject. Mamataji you are free to form your own law. Do not try to politicise and communalise the issue,” said Singh on Saturday, directing his statement at the chief minister.

Asked about cow vigilantism and crackdown on tanneries in Uttar Pradesh, Singh said: “Tanneries and slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh need not worry if they are legal. Cow vigilantism has nothing to do with the BJP. It is a political party. Vigilantism is good if properly done. We will take strict action against those who take law in their hand.”

Read: Cattle trade rule has nothing to do with states’ cow slaughter laws: Jaitley

On Monday, Banerjee had lashed out at the Centre. “We are not bound to abide by the Centre’s new decision. This is a subject on the concurrent list. How can they bulldoze? Who are they to decide who will eat what and who will wear what?” she said.

She also said that she would work towards building a consensus on the issue among the opposition parties around the country.

“All secular parties are against this decision,” she said.

She also questioned the timing of the May 23 decision and wondered why it was announced just before the month of Ramzn.

The Left government in Kerala has already rejected the Union government’s move describing it as “fascist”. Chief minister Pinyari Vijayan said last week that people in his state do not need a lesson on food habits from New Delhi or Nagpur.

“The state government will give all facilities to people to have food of their choice. There is no need for Keralites to learn it from anybody in New Delhi or Nagpur (headquarters of RSS),” Vijayan said.

First Published: Jun 03, 2017 18:50 IST