In a first, Council sees war of words between ruling allies over beef ban

Law Minister slams BJP’s ‘interference’, says he has right to eat beef

In a first, Council sees war of words between ruling allies over beef banFor the first time, legislators of the coalition partners PDP and BJP openly engaged in a war of words over the controversy surrounding the beef ban in the state.

Soon after the beginning of the question hour in the Upper House today, BJP MLCs demanded that Langate MLA Engineer Rashid should be arrested for hosting a beef party here yesterday. BJP legislator Sofi Yousuf even entered the well of the House while others shouted “Beef party karne wale ko arrest karo”.

The National Conference legislators too created a ruckus simultaneously while demanding a discussion on their adjournment motion on “innocent killings” and the assault on Rashid, which had earlier taken place in the Lower House.

Despite Legislative Council chairman Anayat Ali’s and Law Minister Basharat Bukhari’s reminders that Rashid was not a member of the Upper House, the BJP members refused to relent.

As a result, Bukhari in a stern voice said he was ashamed of the assault by BJP legislators on Rashid and said they did not have the right to interfere in the religious affairs of Muslims.

“Every person has the right to live his life as per his wishes. As a Muslim, I have every right to take beef. I am ashamed of what happened in the Lower House. Nobody has the right to interfere… nobody should take us for a ride,” he said.

As the BJP MLCs took on Bukhari, he told them that they should act responsibly as they were “part of the government”. The BJP legislators returned to their seats after the intervention of senior BJP and PDP Cabinet ministers Bali Bhagat and Abdul Haq.

Bhagat said the legislators should safeguard the secular fabric of the state while Haq wondered whether Rashid had really offered beef at yesterday’s party. “Rashid is on a mission to be in news. As far as the beef party is concerned, I heard he bought kebabs and patties from (local hotel) Ahdoos,” Haq said while suggesting that mutton was served at the party.

Meanwhile, NC legislators walked out of the House twice after their adjournment motion was disallowed. They were also demanding a clarification from Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu over his yesterday’s claim that relatives of some MLAs had spent the constituency development funds in the past.

The Congress MLCs too staged a walkout while demanding a discussion on regularisation of daily and casual workers engaged in various government departments.

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