BJP minister in the Meghalaya government Sanbor Shullai encouraged the people of the state to eat more beef than chicken, mutton and fish, dispelling the apprehension that his party was against it.
Shullai, a senior BJP leader who was sworn in as a cabinet minister last week, said everybody was free to eat whatever they want in a democratic country.
"I encourage the people to eat more beef than chicken, mutton or fish. By encouraging people to eat more beef, the perception that BJP will impose a ban on cow slaughter will be dispelled," he told reporters on Friday.
Shullai, who is the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister, also assured that he would speak to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma to ensure that cattle transportation to Meghalaya was not affected by the new cow legislation in the neighbouring state.
On the vexed boundary dispute between Meghalaya and Assam, the three-term legislator said it was high time the state utilise its police force to protect the border and its people.
"If the people of Assam keep on harassing our people in the border area, time has come not only to talk and drink tea... We have to react, we have to act on the spot itself," he said.
He, however, clarified that he was not pro-violence.
"We should have the spirit to protect our people, we have to utilise our force -- the police should go to the front to talk with the Assam Police."
Lauding the Mizoram Police for "standing up to protect" its land and people, the BJP minister criticised the Meghalaya Police who are always "seen on the backfoot" when it comes to protecting border residents.
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