Akhilesh targets PM, dares him to ban beef exports

Akhilesh targets PM, dares him to ban beef exports

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said those who spoke against "pink revolution" should ban beef exports as they were now in power and alleged that they wanted to disturb the "secular" ethos of the country by raising such issues.

Amid the outrage over lynching of a man in the state's Dadri town after villagers accused him and his family of consuming beef, the Chief Minister today broke his silence saying that "our religion and our country" allow people to live the way they want and respect their rights.

"A rumour does not have anything in it but a lot can happen because of it. Our Constitution is based on secularism. Our schemes are all based on this principle but some forces want to vitiate the atmosphere.

"They want to rake up such issues. These forces talked about pink revolution. We will say today - you are in government now, so ban beef exports. You should build support for banning their export," Yadav said in an apparent reference to Modi, who had in the run-up to last Lok Sabha elections attacked the then UPA government over meat exports, saying it was encouraging "pink revolution".

Without naming Modi, Yadav said that those who are marketing the country abroad should consider what kind of food is eaten by the people there.

"The world where you are roaming, marketing and promoting your country, just think once what kind of food they eat from dawn to dusk. That's why we should not interfere in each other's way of life," he said at a function here.

A blame game has erupted between BJP and ruling SP in the state over the killing of the 50-year-old man following rumours that he and his family had eaten beef.

Iqlakh was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son Danish was critically injured by a 200-strong mob which barged into their house on Monday night following rumours that the family had consumed beef. Cow slaughter is banned in Uttar Pradesh.

Samajwadi Party has accused BJP of deliberately inciting violence ahead of 2017 assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh as part of efforts to polarise people while BJP has termed it a failure of the state government to maintain law and order.

Speaking to reporters, Yadav said, "A debate is going on all over the country over the incident and I assure you that those responsible for it will not be spared, however strong they might be or no matter how much try to hide behind anybody."

"Government and law will work with full honesty and find out the guilty persons and ensure that they are punished," Yadav said.

The chief minister was earlier addressing a programme to give away prizes to the winners of cycle race at the Janeshwar Misra park.

He said the family of the Dadri victim will be helped to get justice. Iqlakh's other son Sartaj serves in the Indian Air Force

The incident drew sharp condemnation from political parties. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered and Yadav has announced an ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh for the family of the victim.

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