The Congress-ruled state government in Meghalaya has moved a resolution against the Centre's ban on cattle slaughter, according to reports. The move comes days after two Bharatiya Janata Party leaders from Meghalaya resigned. Later, they held a beef festival in the state to protest against what they called BJP's Hindutva ideology.
Reports suggest that thousands of BJP party members have quit in Meghalaya following the Centre's beef ban. This is also expected to affect the party's election campaign next year during the state assembly polls.
Meghalaya is the top beef-consuming state, according to reports, with eight out of every ten people believed to eat beef. "For us, beef is a culture and much more than just a food item, and BJP should not dare to ban it in the state," a Shillong resident told NDTV.
Meanwhile, the BJP Meghalaya in-charge Nalin Kohli claimed that there was no plan to institute a beef ban in the state.
"The dirty tricks department of the Congress is trying to communalise the agenda with a false and malicious untruth that the BJP wants to impose a beef ban on the state of Meghalya," he told PTI.
"Nothing is farther from the truth since under our constitutional scheme, the central government cannot encroach on the area of what a state government has to decide."
The Centre's beef ban has met with tough opposition both in Kerala and Meghalaya. While lawmakers in Kerala decided to discuss the Centre's new cattle trade and slaughter rules with a 10 kg-beef breakfast, Meghalaya BJP workers took down the party flag and shut down the district office in protest.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear a petition challenging the central government's order as a violation of fundamental rights on Thursday, 15 June.
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