THIRUVANANTHAPURAM -- The one-day special Kerala Assembly session began on Thursday with a quick beef fry breakfast as lawmakers were set to discuss the Centre's new cattle trade and slaughter rules.
The Kerala legislators started their day at the assembly canteen before heading to debate on the new central rule that they say infringes upon the states' rights.
An employee of the canteen told IANS on normal working days when the assembly is in session generally beef is served only after 11 a.m.
"But today, with the session wholly devoted to discussing the beef issue, we brought 10 kg of beef early in the morning. By now a good number of MLAs have already had beef fry before heading to the assembly floor," said the employee on condition of anonymity.
"Devikulam CPI-M legislator S. Rajendran was the first to be served steaming hot beef fry," the canteen attendant said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan began the daylong session by moving a resolution against the manner in which the Centre has gone ahead floating the new rule in May.
"This new rule is nothing but a blatant violation on the rights of individuals to eat what they wish and want. This new rule will hugely affect the agrarian society of our state and also our country," Vijayan said.
"To take care of a cow that has stopped giving milk, a farmer has to spend Rs 40,000. A huge majority of our society are non-vegetarians and this new law is in no way acceptable to us," the Chief Minister added.
Former Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan also slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (BJP-RSS) combine for the "senseless" new law on beef.
"This is nothing but a fraud. It has been supported by fraud Swami's for various reasons best known to them. The BJP has an agenda to castrate certain rules," Achuthanandan said.
"The need of the hour is we should encourage people to produce value added beef, through which we can earn precious export earnings. The BJP is trying to bring in corporate houses to engage in this business and in no way can we allow our people to suffer," Achuthanandan said.
"This law should be circumvented by our own new law on this," added Achuthanandan.
Former Kerala Minister and senior Congress leader Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan said what many fails to realise was that the BJP-RSS combine have vested agenda in bringing this new law.
"What has come to light is that major beef exporting companies in our country are based in north India and some of them are lawmakers of the BJP. This new rule is helping them to continue to increase their business. This cannot be accepted in any manner," said Radhakrishnan.
Former Kerala Minister and senior CPI leader Mulakara Ratnakaran pointed out that the BJP-RSS combine have a huge support from around thousands of "godmen", who will instantly support any such move by the BJP government.
"They support this government and their strange new radical laws because the BJP government is supporting such godmen in various ways. So it's a give and take strategy being adopted to push this specific agenda," said Ratnakaran.
There are 140 members in the Kerala assembly, however, an unanimous resolution against the new central law will not be possible as lone BJP MLA O.Rajagopal will approve the new cattle trade rule.
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