Srinagar: The issue of beef ban in Jammu and Kashmir has created a divide between the ruling coalition partners, with PDP saying the prohibition cannot be accepted while the BJP is pressing for strict implementation of the 150-year prohibitory rule.
PDP said consumption of beef will continue to be allowed in the state notwithstanding the directive of the High Court for implementing a ban even as BJP said the sentiments of Hindus should be respected in the larger national interest without any provocation.
"No one can suppress religious freedom. If something is 'Halal' (allowed) in a religion, why should there be a ban on it? The Supreme Court, in its recent judgement, has also said that meat ban cannot be forced down people's throat. You cannot do this with the religious beliefs of the people," PDP leader Peer Mansoor told PTI.
Mansoor, who is also the political advisor to PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, said India is known world over for its democracy and people have the right to preach their religious beliefs.
"There is no ban in other states like Uttar Pradesh. So, why ban it here? People have the right to eat what their religion permits... Even our Chief Minister (Mufti Mohammad Sayeed) and party president can eat beef if they like to and their health permits. Why should they not eat it when it is permitted in their religion?" he said.
Mansoor said the PDP is a party based on certain principles and it would never compromise on them.
He said PDP formed coalition with BJP for governance of the state on the basis of a common minimum programme known as 'Agenda for Alliance' and it did not mean that there was any merger of the ideologies of the two partners. "There will be no compromise on our own ideology," he said.