Sanbor Shullai
Sanbor Shullai. File photo

BJP minister in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, Sanbor Shullai has asked the people of the state to eat more beef than any other meat like mutton, chicken and fish.

BJP leader Shullai’s comment has made headlines as the party encourages the protection of cattle and some of the states, ruled by the saffron party, have imposed ban on cattle slaughter.

Shullai recently took oath as a minister in place of BJP’s AL Hek, who was serving as the health minister, told reporters on Friday that everybody was free to eat whatever they eat in a democratic country.

The Meghalaya animal husbandry & veterinary minister’s statement on beef-eating comes days after “The Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021” was tabled in the Assam Assembly with an aim to regulate “slaughter, consumption, illegal transportation” of cattle.

“I encourage the people to eat more beef than chicken, mutton or fish. By encouraging people to eat more beef, the perception that BJP will impose a ban on cow slaughter will be dispelled,” a media report quoted Shullai as saying on Friday.

Regarding the Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, tabled in the Assam Assembly, the BJP minister said talks will be held with Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to ensure that the Bill does not affect the transportation of cattle to Meghalaya.

The Bill, which aims to stop transportation or use the state for transporting cattle, has posed trouble for the Christian-majority neighbouring states like Meghalaya where beef is popular.

Cattle from different parts of the country reach Meghalaya through Assam and if transportation of cattle to Meghalaya is stopped in Assam, it would create a major problem for the beef-eating people of the neighbouring state.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma said if there is an issue that would hamper the people and the economy of Meghalaya, then the issue would be taken up not only with the Assam government but the Centre as well.

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