Azam Khan, the 8 time Samajwadi Party MLA from Rampur who never has to try too hard to be controversial, has bowled a googly by asking for a ban on cow slaughter across the country, favouring the newly formed Uttar Pradesh government in its crusade against slaughterhouses.
Khan on Monday said that cow slaughter should be banned across the country and that there should be uniformity in laws.
"Why is it that it is legal in states like Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura but not in other states? I am not only in support of banning slaughter but for very long I have been saying this that we should stop slaughter. What is legal and illegal slaughter? I want all slaughterhouses to be banned. No animals should be cut," Khan was quoted as saying to news agaency ANI.
He also urged the Muslims in the country to give up eating meat as it is not mandated in Islam. Further questioning the pecularity in picking on only the 'illegal slaughterhouses, Khan added that "This means it is ok if the animals are butchered in legal slaughterhouses and not ok when they meet the same fate in an illegal place."
After coming to power, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered closure of illegal slaughterhouses and strict enforcement of the ban on cow smuggling to fulfil a key electoral promise.
Earlier in the day Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu had defended the move and said that it's wrong to give a 'communal colour' to the government's decision.
Referring to a 2016 report, Naidu said the newly formed state government is not targetting any legal slaughterhouse.
"In Uttar Pradesh, the action is only being taken against illegal slaughterhouses. No legal slaughterhouse is being targetted. There is a report saying only one slaughterhouse has valid permit out of 126 in UP. This report is of April 27, 2016," he said.