Mumbai(dna): The BJP’s move to demand an eight-day ban on sale of meat in Mumbai has backfired on the party. The Shiv Sena has managed to pull a fast one on the BJP and, it seems, even the existing four-day ban on sale of meat will be lifted.
The Sena, to get the ban withdrawn, has called for a special meeting of the BMC general body on Friday. The party plans to move a notice demanding that the BMC circular be modified. Once that is done, a new circular will be issued which will only call for shutting down of the Deonar slaughter house for four days. There will be no restriction on sale of meat. The Sena claims to have support from other political parties too.
“The circular is based on 1964 and 1994 corporation resolutions, which only call for shutting down of the Deonar slaughter house. There is no mention of any ban on sale,” said a senior Sena leader. Sena leader Trushna Vishwasrao confirmed that a general body meeting had been called and she would moot the proposal to amend the circular.
The decision to enforce the ban was taken following a demand from BJP legislators Atul Bhatkhalkar and Raj Purohit. Several Jain organisations, backed by the BJP, had written to the BMC demanding an eight-day meat ban during the Jain fasting season.
Senior Sena leaders said the BJP’s overdrive had hurt the Maharashtrian community and the Sena was forced to respond.
“There was a four-day ban for over 10 years and no one had objected. But this year, the BJP went overboard. There can be no restriction on sale of meat. This provision was added in the circular illegally,” the leader added.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has decided to re-open the 1964 and 1994 resolutions. “Even the slaughter houses must not be closed. I have been assured of support from all parties except the BJP. We will not tolerate any food terrorism,” said SP leader Rais Shaikh.
According to the existing circular, the meat ban is in place on September 10,13,17 and 18. On these days, BMC slaughter houses are shut and sale of meat is also prohibited. However, the ban doesn’t affect sale of fish, eggs and other sea food.