Thiruvananthapuram : Kerala’s bitter political rivals – the ruling LDF and the opposition UDF – on Thursday closed ranks in the state assembly adopting a resolution asking the Centre to withdraw the cattle slaughter ban, calling it a ‘fascist’ move. The Assembly specially met for a one-day session to discuss the Centre’s controversial cattle ban notification that has come under attack in Kerala and several other states.

The members of the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front(LDF) and the opposition Congress-headed United Democratic Front(UDF) condemned the ban as not only an “intrusion” into the rights of states but also an  “infringement” on the rights of people on the choice of their food habits. The lone BJP MLA O Rajagopal opposed the resolution.

Members of both the Fronts said the ban on sale of cattle for slaughter in animal markets was not only communal, but also essentially anti-working class and anti-farmer. It thus has to be withdrawn, they said.

The members also alleged that the move was an attempt at corporatisation of the meat-trading sector, which was now an additional source of income for small and medium farmers.

Moving the resolution, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan slammed the Centre, saying the ban was to implement the political agenda of the Sangh Parivar. “The NDA government, that has failed to fulfil any of its promises, was raking up issues such as cattle slaughter to divide the people through communal polarisation for political gains,” he said.

Vijayan also brought to the notice of the assembly the serious ‘adverse’ consequences the ban would have on various sectors including agriculture, dairy, leather industry and meat export trade.

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