Beef-loving leader quits BJP in Meghalaya

Bernard Marak, who belongs to the Garo tribe, has been critical of the central government’s new restrictions on cattle trade.

Published: 01st June 2017 08:39 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st June 2017 08:39 PM   |  A+A-

BJP supporters (File | PTI)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: A Meghalaya BJP leader who planned a beef celebration to mark three years of the Narendra Modi government has resigned, saying he felt “out of place” in a party that is against cow slaughter. Sources in the BJP said his resignation has been accepted.

Bernard Marak, who belongs to the Garo tribe, has been critical of the central government’s new restrictions on cattle trade. He proposed a celebration of three years of the Modi government in a traditional way by eating beef and other meat along consuing a local brew.

"Eating beef is normal in Meghalaya, especially in the Garo Hills. Beef is a part of our life," he said. "I thought it would send a positive message to the Garos who are not happy with the cattle trade rules.”

Marak was the BJP’s Tura unit president in western Meghalaya.

Explaining the events leading to his exit from the party, Marak told New Indian Express, “I posted details of my plan on the BJP's WhatsApp group but there was no response. So, I posted it on my Facebook page to see the reaction of people. Then, Nalin Kohli (the BJP's Meghalaya in-charge) called me and was hard on me saying that this cannot be done. I said people are hurt and we should respect their sentiments by doing something. But he was not ready to accept our tradition, culture and practice.”

Marak added that he had joined the BJP to fight corruption and work for the development of Garo Hills but the party did not seem to be focussed on that. "It is implementing a Hindu ideology. So, I thought I cannot go against the interests of our people and resigned,” Marak stated.

He said he would continue to work for the public without joining any other party. He co-founded an insurgent group Achik National Volunteer Council (ANVC). Later, he surrendered to the police in 2014 and joined BJP last year.

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