In a major embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has been showcasing its cow protection agenda in several parts of the country, its unit in Thrissur district of Kerala, in association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), has started a cooperative society to sell beef among other varieties of meat.
The society, according to a report published by Malayalam daily Deshabhimani on Tuesday, has been framed under the stewardship of BJP district president A Nagesh and secretary TS Ullas Babu.
“The Cattle Meat Manufacturing Cooperative Society has A Nagesh as the chief promoter, besides several other prominent local BJP and RSS leaders as members of the executive body which shall monitor its daily functioning,” the report stated.
Ironically, Narendra Modi had whipped up cow-slaughter hysteria by denouncing what he called “pink revolution” in his speeches during 2014 parliamentary elections campaign.
Even though India continues to be one of the biggest exporters of beef, despite BJP coming into power, vigilantism in the name of cow protection has triggered a cycle of mob lynchings of Dalits and Muslims in several BJP-ruled states.
BJP, however, has always maintained double standards when it comes to states where beef is widely consumed, especially in the Christian-majority northeastern states.
Incidentally, states like West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and to some extent Karnataka, have already registered their protest against ‘beef ban.’ Opening of cooperative societies for selling beef in Kerala is seen as a crafty move to gain political ground in beef-consuming states.
Meanwhile, the society, the Deshabhimani report said, has already set up an office near Thiruvampady temple in the city centre to procure, process and sell meat, that includes beef, and fish.
As per the bylaws stipulated by the cooperative society, it will rear cattle for meat, regulate its sale according to wholesale and retail schemes and establish a supermarket to sell different types of meat products, the report read, adding that the society was also planning to start a cold storage facility to store meat.
“The society was also aiming to start a chain of restaurants in the district, besides setting up a mobile store for selling meat and poultry products,” the report further stated, adding, “the society aims at doubling their sales during festival season.”