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BJP relents a little on beef ban, says states free to decide on slaughter of cows

Facing criticism from various quarters over the Centre's order banning the sale of cattle for slaughter, the ruling BJP has decided to show some flexibility. Admitting that majority of BJP leaders in Meghalaya eat beef, the party has also clarified that it was up to the state governments to decide on banning slaughter of cows.

Talking to India Today on the Narendra Modi government's recent notification banning sale of cattle for slaughter, BJP's national spokesperson in charge of Meghalaya Nalin Kohli said, "The BJP is saying this clearly that the question of having a law in a state on cow slaughter is to be decided by the state and not the Centre."

On BJP's stand on states, such as Northeast and southern states, where majority of the population consumes beef, Kohli said, "Every state government that decides to have a law or not have a law on cow slaughter, do so keeping in mind the local food habits of that particular state and in the Northeast every state government will keep this in account."

Kohli's statement makes it clear that BJP is open to states ruled by it allowing consumption of beef and not interfering in the local food habits. It puts to rest speculations whether the BJP governments would ban beef in the northeastern and southern states where its consumption is considered normal.

By taking flexible stand on beef ban, BJP has avoided a rebellion in its ranks. It has also saved itself from embarrassment as a large number of BJP leaders in the Northeast and South consume beef.