Government should not interfere in the eating habits of people and let them decide what they should eat says Raj Thackeray.
MNS has strongly opposed the closure of mutton and chicken shops in city for two days when Jain Community observes Paryushan (fasting period). The party activists had held protests at Agar bazar in Dadar against the ban and forcibly tried to open chicken and mutton shops. Police intervened and arrested MNS corporator Sandeep Deshpande for violating law and order. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had issued a circular restricting the sale of meat on two days viz August 29 and September 5 in the city. Often a controversy occurs about how many days abattoirs should be shut during the Paryushan period. Earlier, advocating the meat ban in Mumbai during Paryushan, BJP leader Raj Purohit demanded that the existing two-day ban on slaughter of animals and sale of meat in the city should be extended to four days.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray said that meat shops should be allowed to run their business as usual during this period. He said, “The meat and chicken shops should remain open. Government should not interfere in the eating habits of people and let them decide what they should eat.”
“The Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is tweeting in Gujarati to lure voters ahead of the 2017 BMC election. The BJP is only trying to attract Gujarati and Jain voters through the ban imposed on sale of meat. At many place flats are denied to those people who eat non- vegetarian food. If sale of meat is allowed during Shravan month then why restriction is imposed on its sale during Paryushan?,” he asked.
Sandeep Deshpande said, “Why should we be deprived of our food just because Jains are fasting? People do not eat non-veg food during the Shravan month but we are against the dictate of ban.”
Last year controversy had erupted after Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation had imposed a ban on the sale of meat for eight days during the Paryushan period. Later on it was reduced to two days.
Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik said, “A ban is observed on the sale of meat for two days but if it is increased for 8 days then we will also try to withdraw the ban imposed for two days which is already in force.”
Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi said, “This is Hindustan and not Jainistan. If the ban on sale of meat continues then we will protest and try to revoke it.”
Congress leader Manish Tewari said, “Frankly it is ridiculous, all this is digression in order to divert attention from total and abysmal government failure which characterises the performance of this government.”
Paryushan is a holy period for Jains, during which they fast and seek forgiveness for their sins. The state government has been keeping abattoirs shut for four days to respect their sentiments.