Gloves come off: Yogi says Congress wants to give minorities right to eat beef

Uttar Pradesh CM also claims the Congress in its manifesto has talked about the X-ray of people's property

Yogi Adityanath addresses a press conference in Lucknow on 24 April (photo: PTI)
Yogi Adityanath addresses a press conference in Lucknow on 24 April (photo: PTI)

NH Political Bureau

Launching a fresh round of attacks against the Congress, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday said the party wanted to give minorities the right to eat beef, adding that this amounted to allowing cow slaughter.

"These shameless people promise to provide the right to eat 'gau maas' (literally, cow’s meat), whereas our scriptures call the cow mother. They wish to give cows into the hands of butchers. Will India ever accept this?” an Uttar Pradesh BJP statement quoted Adityanath as saying.

Clearly, he views the right to eat according to one's choice as a crime. Particularly if one is a minority living in India.

Of course, this viewpoint prevents even basic research being conducted into the dietary practices of Hindus starting from Vedic times, when it was quite clearly the practice among devout Hindus to eat the meat of cows, bulls, and horses. It was only with the advent of Buddhism and Jainism that vegetarianism began gaining ground, that too only among certain sections of the Hindu populace.

Around 80 million Indians eat beef, including more than 12 million Hindus, according to government data published by Mint following the lynching of Mohammad Akhlaq in 2015, apparently on the suspicion that he had stored beef in his refrigerator, which was later found to be goat meat.

But Adityanath has not let such minor facts come in his way, saying the Congress wanted to give minorities the liberty to eat the food of their choice, “meaning they are talking about allowing cow slaughter”.

Adityanath was addressing an election rally in Bilari in Moradabad district to garner support for BJP candidate Parmeshwar Lal Saini for the Sambhal Lok Sabha seat.

Naturally, he did not stop at the meat. Echoing recent speeches by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the CM alleged that the Congress also intends to seize 'stree dhan' (women’s wealth), and distribute it among Rohingyas and Bangladeshi infiltrators (read Muslims). Once again, this fertile narrative appears to have been manufactured out of thin air, and is clearly intended to appeal to the BJP's core voter base.

The religious polarisation of India having become a fact of life over the past decade, plenty of people probably have no trouble believing that the absurdities spouted by the likes of Adityanath are indeed true. To the point that even when he deliberately distorts the Congress manifesto — available online for everyone to read — to say that it talks about the "X-ray of people's property", a section of the BJP's support base has no trouble believing him.

"This means that if somebody has four rooms in his home, two of those will be taken away by them. Not only this, the Congress says that it will take possession of women's jewellery, the country will never accept this," Adityanath said, adding that the party had made such efforts from 2004 to 2014 under the UPA government. What's one more lie, after all?

"They had tried to give a quota to Muslims out of the reservation provided to the SCs, STs and OBCs in Karnataka," he also said, referring to the Sachar Committee recommendations and saying the Congress wanted to implement them by offering 6 per cent reservation to Muslims out of the quota allotted to SCs, STs and OBCs.

Accusing the Congress of double standards, he claimed that former prime minister Manmohan Singh had said that Muslims have the first right to the country's resources. This, once again, is a deliberate distortion of what Dr Singh actually said, and once again, the video evidence is widely available online. Perhaps Adityanath and his ilk are certain that their supporters will not even bother with a cursory fact check.

The UP chief minister also alleged the Congress is hatching a conspiracy for further division of the country. How, he has not yet made clear. One can only assume he will present what he obviously sees as "evidence" of this, sooner rather than later.

With inputs from agencies

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