UP Meat row: 25 lakh jobs, Rs 15,000 crore at stake

Lucknow: Even as Uttar Pradesh, including Lucknow, started going meatless from Monday because of a traders strike against the new regime’s crackdown, the BJP’s just-elected government rushed in to clear its stand on slaughter houses in the state. At stake are over 20 lakh jobs, direct and indirect, and revenue of around Rs 15,000 crore.

“We are acting only against illegal abattoirs. Licenced slaughter houses are requested to stick to the norms,” Health Minister Siddhartha Nath Singh told reporters in Lucknow.

“Licenced slaughter houses need not to fear,” the minister said, adding, “No orders have been issued to take any action against any shop selling chicken, fish or eggs.”

But ever since the government cracked the whip, there were over-enthusiastic party cadres and officials shutting down shops at random. On Monday, the minister reminded cops and officials that they should not overstep their jurisdiction.

The government said on Monday that a propaganda is being circulated through various social media platforms (especially by those who do not agree to our ideology). “Please do not fall prey to the propaganda,” Singh said.

On whether the state government is open to holding talks with meat-sellers, the minister said, “So far, no delegation of meat- sellers has approached us They are most welcome to meet us and convey their point of view. We would meet them with an open mind, but will not allow illegal things,” he said.

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