An embarrassed Congress today suspended three Kerala activists for publicly slaughtering a calf during a pro-beef protest but hit back at the BJP, accusing it of duplicity on beef and of stoking controversies to divert attention from its misdeeds. "It is a deliberate attempt to encroach on the State's powers", Banerjee told reporters in Kolkata. We will challenge it legally. "We can not expect any sensitivity from them for "gau-mata"... but the Congress, which had once made "gau raksha" its foundation for freedom movement... they do beef party... is there anything more condemnable?" said its International Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain in a statement. But the government has not banned the eating of beef through its order. "We will take strict action against them", a senior Congress leader said, adding that party workers should keep utmost restraint during such protests. I think as far as the Congress party is concerned, we are committed to bring people together. The action against the YC leaders was a foregone conclusion in the aftermath of Mr. Gandhi's condemnation of the incident.
For the Congress, what has come as a dampener was the manner in which their activists in Kannur slashed the head of an ox.
The protesters were encouraged by the ant-BJP stance of state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and was thus in part a response to reported acts of violence, including killings of people by cow vigilantes in the North.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi late on Sunday night took to Twitter to dissociate the party from the incident, saying: "What happened in Kerala yesterday is thoughtless, barbaric and completely unacceptable to me and the Congress party".
However, Surjewala also attacked the BJP for coming up with such a rule to ban sale of cattle for slaughter.
"The central government and Goa's BJP government jointly run a slaughterhouse in Goa. Is this not an affront to their religious practice?" asked BJP leader Nalin Kohli. The meat was then distributed free of cost to the people. "What is the opinion of Adityanath on this?"
The party also quoted Union minister Kiren Rijiju who had earlier said, "I eat beef, I'm from Arunachal Pradesh, and can somebody stop me?"
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