Ahmedabad: Maulana Mehboob-ur-Rehman Qasmi , a Muslim cleric, on Tuesday said the beef ban has been imposed in Gujarat because the festival of 'Bakra Eid' is coming. He also said, 'The government cannot force its ideology on the people of different sections.'

Yesterday, billboards with pictures of Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and the Islamic symbol of the crescent moon and star came up in an Ahmedabad locality with a message from the Gauseva and Gauchar Vikas Board of the Gujarat government, quoting a verse it claims is from the Quran to back its case for the protection of the cow.

'People have democratic rights to choose whatever is feasible for them. The government should adopt the collective public opinion instead of forcing its opinion on the people,' Qasmi said.

He added, 'We see cow with respect and its milk is used in 'ghee' and medicines, so how it is bad for health.'

The Gauseva and Gauchar Vikas Board website says the Gauseva Ayog, created in 1999 and expanded as Gauseva and Gauchar Vikas Board in 2012, was "established for preservation, development and welfare of the cow and its progeny".

The Gauseve Vikas Board is under the aegis of the Agriculture and Cooperation Department, Gujarat government.