The Delhi Assembly witnessed loud protests from the opposition BJP on Friday as party MLAs objected to the proposed serving of beef during the upcoming Commonwealth Games and took umbrage at Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's remark that they were “communal-minded.''

The matter was raised by Leader of the Opposition V.K. Malhotra through a “discussion under special mention.'' He said Delhi Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta had informed the media that beef would be imported for the sporting event and served to athletes and officials.

Stating that many international sporting events were being held in Delhi, Prof. Malhotra said nowhere had the demand been made to serve beef.

He reminded the House that it had passed a law in 1994 prohibiting storage and sale of beef in the capital and demanded that the “law should be implemented in toto.'' He also demanded that the Chief Minister make a statement in the House giving an assurance that beef would not be served during the Games. It was essential that the government prevented any violation of the law, he added.

Later, after a break, the Chief Minister clarified that the Delhi government had no role in this. “The Municipal Corporation of Delhi is required to give permission to the caterer and the Organising Committee has to select the caterer.''

Prof. Malhotra wondered how she could “shy away'' from an issue pertaining to enforcing a legislation passed by the Assembly.

Accusing the BJP members of seeking to gain political mileage, she asked them why they did not approach the MCD, which is ruled by them, instead. “You are raising the issue because you are communal-minded,'' she charged.

This infuriated the BJP members who trooped into the well of the House demanding that she retract her statement. Speaker Yoganand Shastri then adjourned the House for 15 minutes.