Mumbai: Congress drops 'beef festival' idea after intra-party protest
After witnessing an adverse reaction from a section of the party, the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) has dropped the idea of having a ‘beef festival’ under which some 5,000 people were to be fed beef in defiance of the anti-beef law
After witnessing an adverse reaction from a section of the party, the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) has dropped the idea of having a ‘beef festival’ under which some 5,000 people were to be fed beef in defiance of the anti-beef law.
Sanjay Nirupam says that the Congress will ask farmers from across the state to bring their old bulls and bullocks to the city to parade them before CM Devendra Fadnavis. File pic
MRCC president Sanjay Nirupam told mid-day on Monday that some people in the party had mooted the idea, but nothing concrete had come out about its implementation. “In the first place, I will not say the idea was on my mind, and hence no such plan has been dropped. The idea was discussed at a very premature level,” he said, adding that a similar plan would not take shape in the future.
However, mid-day has access to the social media campaign that was being run by a section of the Congress, which opposed the beef festival vehemently. In an appeal circulated on WhatsApp, the protestors asked like-minded people to convey their displeasure to Nirupam, that his plan hurt their religious feelings and the protest itself was not in tune with the party’s icon Mahatma Gandhi.
One of the party leaders, a block president from Malad, Vipul Shah, who has openly opposed the beef festival part of satyagraha, told mid-day that he was against the party’s decision because his religion did not allow cow (or cow progeny) slaughter. “There are lakhs of workers like me who are associated with the Congress.
I’m not against any community or their choice of food. I’m also not against Nirupam. I have said what many others have been saying, and do not want the Congress to organise any such thing,” said Shah. Nirupam said he was aware of such a protest, but maintained that it was unwarranted as there was no such plan.
He, however, said that the ‘satyagraha’ protest against the BJP government’s decision of banning beef in the state would continue, and as a part of it, the Congress will ask farmers from across the state to bring their old bulls and bullocks to the city to parade them before CM Devendra Fadnavis. “We will take the cattle to the CM’s official residence ‘Varsha’ and ask him to pay farmers the money for buying the old cattle.
Fadnavis’ government has asked the farmers to take their old cattle to the shelters being run by his government, but the administration has been refusing to pay any money to the farmers,” he said. Nirupam said some five lakh people associated with butchering, beef trade, manufacturing of leather goods etc, had been affected by the beef ban.
“I demand that the BJP and RSS’ frontal organisations visit villages to buy old cattle and take them to government-sponsored shelters. They must do this for the benefit of the farmers who cannot afford to feed the cattle which they would otherwise have sold to slaughter houses.”
How the law evolved
Now in force in the state, the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, does not allow the slaughter of cows, bulls or bullocks, and prevents people from possessing beef.
Recently, some people were allegedly caught with beef in their possession. The investigation in these arrests is being conducted. There has been a ban on cow slaughter in Maharashtra since 1976, after the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act (MAPA) came to be enacted.
However, calves/bullocks could be killed after acquiring the ‘fit for slaughter’ certificate from civic authorities. Going a step ahead, the then BJP-Shiv Sena government had passed the Maharashtra State Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act of 1995, but subsequent Central governments, including the BJP-led NDA, did not seek the President’s consent for it.
The Congress-led governments in the state had not responded to the BJP’s demands for converting the bill into law, for which the President’s consent is required. The current BJP-led government enforced the amended law two months ago.
The WhatsApp appeal circulating among Congress party workers
Sanjay Nirupam has decided to kill hundreds of GAU-VANSH & would give BEEF - TREAT (?!!!) to at least 5000 people!!!
If you disagree than please write a letter/postcard in following postal address and also please give a call and POLITELY please convey him THAT THIS ACT HURTS OUR RELEGIOUS FEELINGS and it disappoints the feelings of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Nation. Please send daily one SMS & Email on following mobile number and email address...
Please forward to all your friends and Groups