Even as the Centre has introduced stringent rules regarding cattle slaughter, it was business as usual for beef sellers across Kerala on Saturday, with people queuing up to buy one of their favourite food item.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who condemned this new rule as nothing but a ploy to go forward with the RSS agenda, will write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the rule is not practical.
According to sources close to the Chief Minister, Vijayan will write that it will be difficult to implement the rule in Kerala and things will remain the same till the Centre replies to the letter.
Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala told the media in Thrissur that the party will deal with this issue both legally and politically.
“The Centre cannot infringe the rights of people who have the freedom to decide on what they want to eat and what they do not. We will take up this issue very strongly,” he said.
Meanwhile, things remained as usual on Saturday morning as hundreds of bovines were traded at Kerala’s biggest cattle market in Kuzhalmandam, Palakkad district.
“The only we are worried is what will happen if the state government implements the rule. We doubt this is going to be practical. Anyway we will wait,” a group of cattle traders told the media.
“We came as usual and started doing the same thing as we have been doing for years. Our customers are also here waiting to collect their packets of beef,” said a butcher in the busy Kozhikode market.
Meanwhile, with all the political parties dismissing the new rule as foolish, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Kerala blamed the media for twisting the facts to rake up unnecessary issues.
State BJP General Secretary M.T. Ramesh said it was most unfortunate that top leaders from various leading political parties linked the Friday order with Ramadan.
“It’s meant to whip up passion as both the media and all political parties twisting the gist of the order. If anyone has any doubt on the order, the best way out is to seek legal help. The order is very clear and many are feigning ignorance for taking this politically,” said Ramesh.
To protest the new order, the student and youth wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) will hold beef festivals across Kerala, where beef curry will be given along with chapatti and other food items.
The price of beef stands at Rs 300 per kg here, and it costs around Rs 280 in towns and smaller cities.