New Delhi: Congress leader Manish Tewari on Tuesday criticised the Haryana government's decision to ban beef, saying that the state does not have the right to proscribe the culinary preferences of an individual.
"India is a diverse country and in a diverse country people have different culinary habits. Beef is also a poor man's protein. So, this is nothing else but a political agenda," Tewari said.
He said that first the Maharashtra Government had done the same step and now the Haryana Government has followed suit.
"So, therefore, the entire agenda of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is sought to be imposed on this country. Nobody advocates that you should eat beef or not eat beef, or you should eat meat or should not eat meat, or you should become a vegetarian, but ultimately it is an individual's choice. The state does not have the right to proscribe the culinary preferences of an individual," he added.
The Haryana Assembly has passed a Bill that has banned cow slaughter across the state.
According to reports, those people found violating the law, will face rigorous imprisonment ranging from three to 10 years. The new law also provides for a fine ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 1 lakh. In case of default in payment of the fine, the convict will have to undergo an addition one year jail term.
The Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Bill, 2015, for protection and upkeep of cows, was reportedly discussed for about an hour, and then passed by voice vote on Monday night.
The bill was moved by state Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister OP Dhankar, and had the support from main opposition INLD and Congress.
Dhankar informed the House on Monday that no permit for export of cows shall be issued for a state where cow slaughter is not banned by law. However, he added that the state government shall have power to issue special permits for export of cow in case where it is of the opinion that it shall be in the public interest to do so.
Haryana had earlier imposed a complete ban on the sale of beef in any form in the state on March 14.