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Cattle norms: Pinarayi Vijayan says BJP pushing right-wing political agenda

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-06-2017 Nidheesh M.K.

Ernakulam: Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday accused the Union government, led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), of paying heed to right-wing political agenda by bringing in new cattle trade norms.

He was speaking at a special assembly session called on Thursday to discuss the course of action to overcome the Centre’s new cattle trade norms.

The chief minister has moved a special motion against the new norms, in order to mount pressure on the Centre to reverse the norms. After a two-hour debate, the assembly is expected to pass a special resolution against the Centre, almost unanimously.

The Union government has a political agenda in coming out with such norms, and wants to effectively impose a beef ban all over India, Vijayan said, while moving the motion, according to the website of regional newspaper Malayala Manorama.

The report added that he alleged the Centre was violating basic human rights like right to food and infringing into federal powers associated with states, with these new rules. The norms have hit the farmers in Kerala and will also create inflationary pressure, he said, according to the report.

In what came as a surprise for Left leaders, K.M. Mani, leader of the opposition party Kerala Congress (Mani), criticized the move of holding a special assembly session on the matter.

The session comes at a time when the new norms have faced stiff opposition from states like Kerala, West Bengal and some north-eastern states where consumption of beef is widespread.

The government norms ban the sale of cattle for slaughter at animal markets, including in states such as Kerala, which allow the slaughter of cows,

Vijayan is not the only chief minister who is protesting against the new norms on cow trade. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee recently declared her government will not accept it, while protests were organised in several parts of Tamil Nadu, where the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) launched an agitation on 31 May. In Meghalaya, two of BJP’s top leaders have quit the party over differences on the norms.

The issue has provided fodder to Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM and other non-BJP parties in Kerala to mount a fresh attack on the BJP, which has been gaining some foothold in the state as a third front threatening the state’s traditional bipolar politics.

The special assembly session also comes at a time when courts have weighed in on the issue. While the Madras high court recently allowed a stay on the curbs, Kerala high court refused to allow a stay.

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