Facing spree of criticism from the Opposition, rising litigation and even refusal by some state governments to comply with Centre’s recent notification on the sale of cattle for slaughter at open markets, two Union ministers had addressed the issued in the space of last 24 hours to dispel the apprehensions.
After Rajnath Singh, Union Environment minister Harshvardhan on Tuesday said that government does not want to “alter” the food habits of people and put businesses in the sector in “any kind of difficulty”.
“We drafted the rules after the Supreme Court directive. Following this, the notification was put in the public domain for a period of one month,” he said.
“Some suggestions came and were incorporated into the rules. Our intention behind issuing the rules is not to alter the food habits of people in any way. We also do not have any intention of putting businesses to any kind of difficulty,” the Union Environment minister said.
Earlier on Monday, during his visit to Mizoram, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said the Centre will not impose any restrictions on people’s choice of food.
Responding to a question on a protest by locals against the central governments ban on sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets, Singh said there should be no restriction on one’s choice of food.
The row over beef eating and cattle trade has led to protests in several states, including Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The Madras High Court had on May 30 stayed for four weeks the enforcement of the contentious notification.
In a related development last week, a group in Goa `Goa for Beef-Beef for Goa’, (GFBBFG), too had criticised the Centre for ban on sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets.
“It is alarming that beef, which is a source of protein for many people in Goa, will soon be off the plate, rendering an important source of nutrition inaccessible,” it said.
It had also demanded an immediate revocation of new rules. It will affect the livelihood of thousands of people in Goa and “imping on the food habits of a significant population”, it said.
(With inputs from PTI)