Meghalaya, which goes to polls next year, is turning out to be a precarious balancing act for BJP, especially after the recent ban on sale of cattle for slaughter. While other states such as Kerala and Bengal may have supporters on both sides of the cattle slaughter debate, Meghalaya is different because it is a predominantly Christian society and beef is a staple source of protein for its people. Implementing the ban on beef in Meghalaya could prove disastrous for BJP, especially in view of the assembly elections scheduled in 2018. It may be recalled that BJP is working hard to replace the ruling Congress government in Meghalaya.
The story being told in Meghalaya in context of the recent ban on sale of cattle for slaughter is that the new rule will check illegal trade of cattle and prevent cattle from being sold to neighboring Bangladesh. When this happens, it will improve supply of cattle in Meghalaya, which in turn will reduce the cost of beef. However, not everyone is telling stories. Some dare to say it loud and clear, like BJP’s president of the Meghalaya unit Shibun Lyndoh, who said that the state BJP unit is not against beef. He said the party is just looking to improve the condition of slaughter houses and introduce proper scientific and hygienic methods. He said that a total beef ban would not be supported by people in Meghalaya.