13/10/2015 10:10 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

Beef Ban: Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Counters Nitish Kumar's Jab At Modi

Saurabh Das/AP

NEW DELHI -- The Centre has countered Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's allegation of rise in meat exports during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's regime, saying beef export is banned and also there are no approved slaughter houses in Gujarat.

"@NitishKumar Wish to state your observation on beef export is wrong. Allegation on @narendramodi baseless," said Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a tweet.

She said Kumar has alleged that beef export has gone up 15.4 per cent in Narendra Modi's first year as Prime Minister.

"Knowingly/unknowingly the Hon. CM is misleading people. Beef (meat of cow, oxen and calf) export is banned in India," the tweet said.

Seeking to turn the tables on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his attack on RJD chief Lalu Prasad over the beef issue, Kumar last week accused him of "doublespeak", saying beef exports had gone up in the last year during his rule.

"Modiji's doublespeak at its best beef exports went up by 15.4 per cent in his 1st year as PM, yet he tries to make beef an issue in Bihar elections," Kumar had stated in a tweet.

Sitharaman also termed Kumar's allegation that meat exports increased when Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat as "baseless".

She said: "Wish to inform the Hon. CM of Bihar that there are only 10 states that have APEDA approved abattoirs/slaughter houses. Only these states can provide meat (other than beef) for export.

"They are: UP, Delhi, Maharashtra, Telengana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Kerala. Gujarat is not one of them!".

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