Ruling LDF and opposition UDF in Kerala joined hands in the special session of Kerala assembly to pass a resolution against Centre’s ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in the animal market. The MLAs called the ban a “fascist” move.
During the one-day session, called exclusively to discuss the cattle ban notification, members of ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and Congress-headed UDF opposition held that it was not only an “intrusion” into state’s rights, but also an”infringement” on the rights of people on the choice of their food habits.
The resolution called for the Centre to withdraw the notification. All but one MLA in the Assembly, O Rajagopal, who belongs to the BJP, dissented the move.
Moving the resolution Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed the the Centre, saying the ban was to implement the political agenda of Sangh Parivar.
“The NDA government, that has failed to fulfil any of its promises, was raking up issues such as cattle slaughter to divide the people through communal polarisation for political gains,” he said.
Vijayan also brought to the notice of the assembly the serious ‘adverse’ consequences the ban would have on various sectors including agriculture, dairy, leather industry and meat export trade.
“The notification is impractical in Kerala where 95 per cent of the population is non-vegetarian. It is clearly an intrusion into the citizens choice of food,” he said.
Members from both sides also attacked the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in the animal market. They said the move was not only communal, but also essentially anti-working class and anti-farmer.
Describing the notification as another “surgical strike” by the Modi government “like the note ban”, opposition leader in assembly Ramesh Chennithala said this was “a sign of arrival of fascism” in the country.
“Modi has transformed himself into ‘abhinava Hitler’ (neo Hitler),” Chennithala alleged.
Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan said there seems to be an”indirect interest” behind the notification.
Meanwhile, Rajagopal said the coming together of LDF and UDF in the assembly was a sign of a “grand alliance” forming at the national level to take on BJP.
He said the House has been “misused” for political purposes as the Centre has already made it clear that it was ready to make changes in the notification after getting suggestions from states.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) notified the stringent Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 on May 25, banning the sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.
Post Centre’s notification, Kerala CM wrote to his counterparts in other states asking them to “stand together” and “oppose” the ban and urged the Prime Minister to withdraw the new regulations. The Chief Minister also wrote to Modi opposing the ban and urging him to withdraw the new regulations.
Beef fests were also held in various parts of the state last month to protest against the ban with some youth Congress activists in Kannur publicly slaughtering a calf to register their protest.
(With inputs from PTI)