No Ban on Beef: BJP Promises Poll-Bound States in the North East

In many states in the North East, the slaughter of animals and birds is associated with traditions and festivals

In the wake of the hysteria that accompanied the ban on cow slaughter in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has said that such a ruling would not be imposed in the three northeastern states, which will vote in the assembly election next year.

Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland will all go to polls next year. Given the large quantum of beef consumed by the majority Christian population in these three states, a ban, similar to the one imposed in UP, is likely to cause serious damage.

The formation of a BJP-coalition government in Manipur, in March assembly elections, was a big step forward for the consolidation of BJP power in the North East.

Having formed a majority in Assam last year, and claiming Arunachal Pradesh at the end of 2016, the BJP looks to keep the ball rolling with a good showing in Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland – the states where they have been able to make little to no headway in past elections.

Nagaland BJP chief Visasolie Lhoungu told The Hindustan Times :

Ban on cow slaughter like the one in UP won’t take effect in Nagaland if our party comes to power next year. The reality here is very different, and our central leaders are aware of that.

In many states across the North East, the slaughter of animals and birds in private homes is an old and intrinsic part of tradition associated with some festivals. In reference to this, Meghalaya BJP chief Shibun Lyngdoh told The Hindustan Times:

Even in UP, action is being taken on slaughterhouses operating without a proper license. While there would be no ban on cow slaughter, we would like the government to ensure killing and sale of animals is done legally and in a hygienic manner.

Meghalaya BJP General Secretary Devid Kharsati said that the realities in Uttar Pradesh vastly vary from those in the northeastern states. According to the 2001 Census, nearly 88% of Nagaland’s population, 87% for Mizoram’s and 75% for Meghalaya’s are Christian, for whom beef is a staple part of their diet.

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