Mumbai: Bhimrao Dhonde, Maharashtra Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Ashti, Beed, while criticising the beef ban imposed by the state government said the law was not in the interest of farmers.
Speaking in the Maharashtra assembly on Thursday, March 10, Dhonde said the beef ban, which was implemented in the state last year, needs to be withdrawn as it has led to farmer distress.
“Why should you snatch away the poor’s meal?” asked Bhimrao Dhonde during a discussion on the state’s agrarian crisis.
“In times of drought, feeding productive animals itself is a big challenge for farmers. How can a farmer sustain the additional burden of looking after spent cattle?” asked Dhonde.
"Moreover", he said, "I feel it is not right to decide what people must eat. I don't think it is right."
"Muslims eat beef, some Hindus and poor people (also eat beef), so why should we stop them from eating (what they want)?" he added.
The controversial beef ban, which was imposed by the Maharashtra government last March, has been opposed before, but this is perhaps the first time that a ruling party MLA has openly spoken against it.
Dhonde’s criticism comes two days after the Centre’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian quipped in Mumbai that he would not comment on the state’s beef ban as it would cost him his job.
On Tuesday, asked to comment on the economic impact of the ban during an interaction with students at Mumbai University, Subramanian said: “You know that if I answer this question, I will lose my job. But thank you nevertheless for asking this question.”