Panaji: After a scathing attack by the Goa church, both the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Thursday blamed the BJP-led state government for the ongoing beef shortage in the state.
Both parties also said the shortage of beef was the result of a "communal conspiracy" by the Bharatiya Janata Party government to harass minority communities by denying them a cheap source of nutrition.
Both the NCP as well as Congress members have claimed that the person who petitioned the Bombay High Court bench in Goa against illegalities at the state-run slaughter house, which inadvertently resulted in the beef shortage, was a BJP party office-bearer.
"The man who filed the petition, Hanumant Parab, is a BJP official. The BJP has instigated him to go to court, after which the government`s rigged its own defence," NCP spokesperson Trajano D`Mello claimed Thursday.
It has been more than week since the high court temporarily stopped the slaughter of cattle at the Goa Meat Complex and set up a committee to look into the illegalities as alleged by Parab, who represents the Govansh Raksha Abhiyan.
The three-member committee earlier this week confirmed the allegations made by Parab, who had claimed that underage and diseased cattle, often procured from neighbouring states, were slaughtered at the facility.
The high court later permitted the slaughter of animals, but with stringent conditions, including a ban on slaughter of animals from outside the state and of bovines below the age of 12, and placed other restrictions regarding transportation. Beef traders now claim that it was impossible to procure beef for sale under the new restrictions.
The stoppage of Goa`s sole legally functioning abattoir, the Goa Meat Complex, has kept beef off the counters and off the menu in restaurants in the state. And red meat on the black market has hit an unprecedented Rs.500 per kg, about Rs.300 more than the usual rate.
Congress spokesperson Reginaldo Lourenco now claims that the revelation that a BJP member had petitioned the court only meant that the ruling party was playing games.
"What else is there to say? Their own man files the petition in court and the trouble begins! This is a conspiracy," Lourenco said.
The influential Goa church Tuesday blamed the Goa government for not doing enough to resolve the beef imbroglio and had asked Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to ensure that the minority communities, Muslims and Christians, were provided beef at the earliest.