Kolkata: The BJP has launched a poster campaign calling for a nationwide ban on cow slaughter in across West Bengal, one of the states where the practice is legal. The move has drawn strong condemnation from civil society and other parties.
The posters, issued under the banner of the party's Cow Development Cell, West Bengal, claims there are judicial orders banning slaughter of the bovine animal on a particular religious occasion of a community.
The posters in English, Hindi and Bengali have come up in different areas of Kolkata and the districts.
"We have come up with these posters as part of our campaign for a nationwide ban on cow slaughter. Except for a few states like West Bengal, cow slaughter is banned in most part of India," state Cow Development Cell convener Subrata Gupta told IANS.
The posters, issued in the name of Gupta and cell co-convenor Dilip Bhutra, bear the party's lotus election symbol on the top left corner.
"We have started putting up these posters as per the directive of our central committee," said Gupta.
Civil society and other political parties lashed out against the BJP for putting up such posters.
"They are distorting judicial orders. They are trying to create disturbance across the country as it seems they are going to lose the Bihar assembly polls. Arists, writers, filmmakers, historians are all returning awards in protest against intolerance in the country. So now the BJP has come up with a conspiracy to divert people's attention," said theatre personality Kaushik Sen.
Former city mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya called it an "anti-national act.
"A conspiracy is on to divide the nation. The BJP has elaborate designs. Everybody should come out in protest," said Bhattacharya, a noted lawyer.
Congress leader Arunabha Ghosh said: "These sort of acts are totally unacceptable and improper."