Kerala assembly terms cattle ban 'fascist' move, passes resolution

Kerala assembly terms cattle ban 'fascist' move, passes resolution
The Kerala Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the May 23 notification of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, which banned sale of cattle for slaughter through livestock markets.

The Kerala Legislative Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the May 23 notification of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, which banned sale of cattle for slaughter through livestock markets.

On a day which saw MLAs savour beef for breakfast at the Assembly canteen before heading for the special session, the note of dissent against the resolution came from O Rajagopal, BJP’s only MLA in the house. Backed by the ruling CPM-led Left front and the Congress-led opposition, the substantive motion moved by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan was passed.

The substantive motion highlighted the adverse impact of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 on states’ agricultural economies, food security and trade of cattle and sought immediate withdrawal of the restrictions. “The House seeks from the Centre a validation of the states’ rights to formulate policies and laws on state subjects,” the motion said.

“Theories of the sacred cow and ox, which even challenge the ones formulated by Darwin are being imposed upon the people,” CPM veteran and former chief minister V S Achuthanandan said. Rajagopal, the BJP MLA from Nemom, reiterated his party’s stance that the ruling and opposition fronts joined hands to target the Centre and make political gains out of a non-issue.

Beef For Breakfast

MLAs who were at the Assembly canteen in the morning found a surprise entry in the breakfast menu – beef fry, quite in line with the issue the House was set to debate minutes later. U Prathibha Hari, CPM MLA from Kayamkulam, said she had the dish as a “protest” against the Centre’s curbs on cattle sale. “I don’t have beef for breakfast but today, I made an exception,” the MLA told Deccan Herald.

Beef dishes are favourites in the canteen’s lunch menu but the administrators are learnt to have made an exception for the day as well. Some MLAs sounded pleasantly surprised but were not going to let the treat pass. “It was not planned but when I found it as a special dish, I just had it,” S Rajendran, CPM MLA from Devikulam, told DH.

Kerala has hosted a series of beef festivals against the cattle sale restrictions, triggering criticism from Sangh Parivar outfits.

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