Mumbai: Failing to get a favourable response from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, RPI(A) chief Ramdas Athawale on Monday said he would take out a procession of bullocks to the Collector's office in suburban Bandra today to protest the ban on beef in Maharashtra.
Athawale had earlier spoken to Fadnavis, opposing the ban. "What was the need of banning the sale and consumption of beef when the slaughter of cows has already been banned?
The state government is being cruel not only to Muslims, but even to those from other faiths who eat beef. We cannot allow this," Athawale, whose party is part of the BJP-led coalition in the state, said.
The Maharashtra amendment bill banning the slaughter of bulls/bullocks (apart from cows) got the Presidential ascent in March, triggering a controversy.
Athawale said that apart from beef traders, thousands from related sectors had been rendered jobless by the ban. "It now seems that this is more of an ego issue for the government than respecting people's sentiments. We cannot let thousands of people lose their livelihood to appease a few. Is this not politics of appeasement?" the Rajya Sabha MP said.
The beef traders too had decided to go on a state-wide strike tomorrow, he said. "Our party workers have spoken to farmers who do not seem happy with this decision. They are dejected because they will not be able to sell off useless cattle and buy young bullocks.
On the ground, there is much more resentment than support for the government's stand," he said. RPI plans bullock march to protest beef ban in Maharashtra.