KOLKATA: After Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee slammed the Centre’s decision to ban cattle sale for slaughter in livestock markets as unconstitutional and charged that it infringed on the concurrent list manned by the provinces.
Speaking at a presser at State secretariat Nabanna here on Monday, the West Bengal chief minister vowed to fight against the decision legally and questioned the timing of the decision at the onset of Ramzan.
“This is a clear infringement into a state subject of the concurrent list. Who is Centre to decide what we will eat or wear? We will not abide by the Centre’s new decision. Bengal is not compelled to follow the new decision and will not follow,” she said.
Stating that the decision was another attack into the federal structure, Mamata added: “Governments may come and go but democracy will stay. We need to protect democracy and secularism.”
Invoking Article 246 of the constitution, Mamata said that it is clearly mentioned that state Legislature has powers to make laws with respect to matter enumerated in concurrent list of seventh schedule. “Why was the new law brought just before Ramzan on May 23?,” she questioned.
The TMC supremo further added that she is trying to bring all secular parties together on the issue who are against the Centre’s decision on banning cattle sale for slaughter at livestock markets.
Mamata’s statement comes after Pinarayi Vijayan said that Malayalees don’t need to seek permission from New Delhi or Nagpur (the RSS headquarters) to eat anything. The State witnessed massive beef festivals on Sunday against the Centre’s move. A beef festival was also held in IIT Madras on Monday against the Centre’s decision.
Cow slaughter is not punishable only in a few Indian states that include West Bengal, Kerala and north-eastern states. Mamata had earlier been vocal in supporting the right to eat beef or anything an individual may want as a result of which a priest in Jagannath temple in Puri wanted to prevent her entry into the temple.