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BJP distances itself from Rijiju, Naqvi comments on beef eating

The BJP on Wednesday distanced itself from the row kicked up by two Ministers holding divergent views on beef eating.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju asserted that no restrictions can be put on food habits in a secular country like India and the sentiments of the majority should be respected in Hindu-majority States as well as in Muslim and Christian-dominated States.

The Minister kicked up a storm by taking on his colleague, Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who last week commented that those who want to eat beef should go to Pakistan or an Arab country.

A Buddhist by faith, Mr. Rijiju said on Tuesday that while States having a Hindu majority could enact legislation banning cow slaughter, it could not be imposed on the North-eastern States where a majority of people eat beef.

Majority sentiments

Mr. Rijiju, who was on a visit to Aizawl to highlight the NDA government’s achievements in the first year, told PTI that the sentiments of the majority population in a region should be respected. “When we visit the Hindu-majority Maharashtra or Gujarat, we must respect the sentiments of the majority local people just as the sentiments of Muslim-majority or Christian-majority local people should be valued when we visit those States.”

BJP president Amit Shah, who is in Surat, disassociated himself from the controversial comments saying those were “personal views”. He said wherever the BJP was in power, cow slaughter had been banned. Ban on cow slaughter has been a core issue for the party.

Mr. Rijiju clarified that he had not said he was a beef eater and nobody could stop him. “I never said that I eat beef. I said that we must respect each other’s faith, belief and food habits.”

“Why do we need to say something against Hindus to become secular? We should focus on development and communal harmony. The Prime Minister has a vision for 1.2 billion Indians and let’s not divide it on communal lines,” he told the news agency.

Earlier, BJP spokesman Sambit Patra refused to be drawn into a discussion over BJP presenting a divided house on beef eating and said it was a “religious and emotional” subject for the people of India.


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Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 11:14:23 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bjp-distances-itself-from-rijiju-naqvi-comments-on-beef-eating/article7252796.ece