Republican Party of India (A), an ally of the BJP-led coalition in the state, is against the blanket ban on beef in Maharashtra and will soon take up the issue with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, party chief Ramdas Athawale said on Sunday.
“The RPI (A) is opposed to such a ban which has created problems with regard to the aged animals and for beef-eaters across the state,” Athawale told reporters here today.
Though the RPI (A) is part of the BJP-led alliance in the state, it is not in favour of such a ban, he said.
Athawale said his party respects the sentiments of cow worshippers, but the ban is unjust.
The government should not ban killing of undesired cows who are aged and not milking. There should be some age criteria for animals to be kept out of the purview of slaughtering, he said.
The farmers who have such aged animals will find it difficult to feed them. Moreover, there will be scarcity for the leather industry in future and “shoe-less days are ahead,” Athawale said.
Responding to a question, Athawale said it is not only Muslims but also non-Muslims who are beef-sellers in the state.
The new Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act bans slaughter of bulls and bullocks.
The ban has sparked protests from political and cultural outfits, alleging it amounted to encroachment on individual choices and eating habits of large sections of people, especially the minority communities.
On the issue of Land Acquisition Bill, he said the government should provide adequate compensation to farmers whose land is acquired.
Athwale said the government should disburse the land, acquired during ‘Bhoodan movement’ by late Acharya Vinoba Bhave, to the landless people who are estimated to be around 35 crores in the country.
The government should ensure that the farmers whose land is acquired are paid adequate compensation and they should be fully satisfied with it.
Meanwhile, Athawale said his party has voiced concerns over the setting up of a nuclear power plant at Jaitapur.
“During UPA rule also we opposed the Jaitapur nuclear plant and on this issue, we are with Shiv Sena,” he said.
The Shiv Sena has been opposing the Jaitapur nuclear power plant, being planned in the Ratnagiri district, around 400 kms from Mumbai.
Senior BJP leader late Gopinath Munde too had opposed the Jaitapur nuclear plant, Athawale claimed.
Citing fatal accidents at nuclear power plants across the world, including in Japan two years back, he said the next generation is going to be affected by the radiations from it.