NEW DELHI (TIP): BJP-ruled Goa would not ban beef as it is an essential part of the cuisine of minority communities in the state, chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar told ET, adding that it had taken several years for his party to earn the trust of the state’s Christians and Muslims.
“Regardless of what the Centre does -in Goa minorities are 3940% -if it is part of their food habits, why and how can we ban it? For people -especially minorities -eating beef is part of their food,” said Parsekar. The Goan CM’s comments assume significance as it comes days after Maharashtra and Haryana imposed blanket bans on beef. The move had also triggered speculation that the BJP-led Central government could be considering a nation-wide plan to ban beef distribution and consumption.
Parsekar, a former state-level functionary of RSS, said that he is also conscious about the sentiments of a section of Hindus concerning slaughter of cows.
“Sentiments are hurt with regards to killing cows, not in the case of oxen or bulls. We don’t permit killing of cows, and even oxen are not killed there (in Goa) now. It (beef) is brought from Karnataka and sold here, which we allow since it is a part of cuisine of Catholics and Muslims, and I feel it should not be banned,” he said.
The Goa CM also felt that there was a concerted effort from some quarters, including media, to paint BJP as antiminority by blaming the recent attacks on churches on the party. Such incidents are happening even in states where BJP is not in power, but the party is being blamed, he said.
Parsekar said the BJP managed to grow “gradually” and achieve a full majority government for the first time in the state because of it having “build confidence” among the minority community.
“In fact, we favour the minorities,” he said, adding, “In Goa, we are always one step ahead (in reassuring the minority community). We favour the minorities -whether it is for (setting up their) institutions or any other help. For your information, exposition of the holy relics of Saint Xavier’s was organised this year. We spent a lot of money for raising infrastructure for that event. It went on for 45 days and 46 lakh people arrived from the world over. We had put up a secretariat comprising top officers for monitoring the event and spent more than Rs 50 crore at the campus.”