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BJP may not ban beef in Tripura due to public demand, says senior leader

Sunil Deodhar denies that non-implementation of the ban would be political

mumbai Updated: Mar 14, 2018 10:10 IST
Eeshanpriya M S
Eeshanpriya M S
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Sunil Deodhar,BJP
BJP leader Sunil Deodhar at a media interaction on Tuesday. (BHUSHAM KOYANDE/HT)

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sunil Deodhar indicated that the BJP will not implement a beef ban in Tripura, to respect the demands of the majority of its people. He said this during a media interaction in Mumbai on Tuesday. As the man in charge for Tripura, Deodhar played a key role in the BJP’s victory in the state in the assembly elections of March 2018, ousting the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) from its 25-year-long rule.

Deodhar refuted that non-implementation of the beef ban in Tripura would be political. He said, “This is a democracy. There are a lot of Muslims and Christians in north-east, and let’s face it, a lot of Hindus there also eat beef as a matter of habit. We cannot take food off the plate for 90% of the population. It is (about) sentiments.”

Last year, the central government’s notification on cattle trade and slaughter rules to ban the sale of cattle for slaughter triggered a massive reaction from governments of several states, including most state governments from north-eastern India. The CPI(M), which was then in power in Tripura, had refused to implement the rules, as a large chunk of the state’s population depends on cow meat for its nutrition.

Deodhar, who is now a member of the BJP, joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1991 and was posted as a social worker to north-east India. In 2010, he joined the BJP. When asked if failing to implement the beef ban in Tripura would be a compromise on the RSS’ stand on cow slaughter and cow worship, Deodhar said,“Let me answer this my way. If a majority of any state’s people want this, then the government must relent.” The RSS has been a strong advocate of ban on cow slaughter and stringent cow protection laws.

At present, several BJP-led states have banned cow slaughter, including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Gujarat.

First Published: Mar 14, 2018 10:10 IST