The BJP-led NDA government has taken a flexible approach to banning slaughter of cows. The party’s national spokesperson, Nalin Kohli, in charge of Meghalaya said, “The BJP is saying this clearly that the question of having a law in a state on cow slaughter is to be decided by the state and not the Centre.” Kohli also talked about the Northeast and Southern states where consumption of beef is quite common for the majority of the population. He said it is up to the respective states whether they want to have a law on cow slaughter or not. He said that states are free to decide depending on the local food habits of the people residing in a particular state.
Kohli’s statements have made it clear that people will not be forced to change their food habits and that beef would be allowed in states where it’s the staple diet of majority of people such as the Northeast states. It may be recalled that BJP leaders in Meghalaya have already said that they will not impose a ban on beef even when they come to power in the 2018 Assembly elections. Meghalaya comprises mainly Christian population and eating beef is staple for all three major tribes – Khasis, Garos and Jaintias. Many of the BJP leaders in Northeast and Southern states consume beef and it would not be prudent to force them to change their dietary habits.