There is no proposal to ban cow slaughter in the eight northeastern states, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav said on Wednesday.However, the Bharatiya Janata Party's government in other states will review the situation and take relevant decisions, he said."In some states, ban on cow slaughter has been there for several decades now. In a number of states, it is not there, including all the states of the northeast, because of the demographic situation here," the BJP leader, who is of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background, told journalists here in the Meghalaya capital."We are not proposing any such ban (on cow slaughter) here," asserted Ram Madhav, who accompanied party president Amit Shah during his maiden visit to Meghalaya.Home Minister Rajnath Singh and union Minister Maneka Gandhi recently favoured a complete ban on cow slaughter across India.
Meanwhile, Shillong-based civil society group Thma U Rangli-Juki (TUR) staged a protest near the Meghalaya BJP office over a reported proposal to ban beef and cow slaughter."We will not allow the government to impose such a drastic law. Beef is one of our delicacies and it has many nutrients for us hill people. We will not allow anyone to impose any law on us," TUR leader Kyrsoibor Pyrthuh said.Acknowledging the protest, Ram Madhav said: "It is a democratic country. People can protest. But the reasons for their protest are misplaced. The BJP is committed to the unity and integrity of the country.""India is a country of many religions. Pluralism is at the heart of this country. Every religious community will live in this country with utmost peace and safety and security. The government will ensure that," he said.
Asked about the plan to strengthen the party in the northeast where the BJP does not have much presence other than in Assam, he said: "We are attaching great importance in the development of this entire region.""As a party also, we are supporting our government's initiatives to strengthen the economy of this region by supporting directly from the Centre as well as creating avenues with a number of neighbouring countries also."Ram Madhav said: "We are committed to the development of the northeast and that is why our president (Shah) and our party are taking a lot of interest, and that is why we are here."