MLA Akhil Gogoi attacked Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over the cow protection law, saying he will be regarded as Assam’s “most communal and divisive CM.”
“Assam will remember Himanta Biswa Sarma as the most communal and divisive CM. He is the most dangerous CM and the people of Assam are not safe under his rule,” Mr Gogoi alleged.
Mr Gogoi apologised to the people of Assam
Mr Gogoi apologised to the people of Assam, while addressing a press conference, for not being able to block the Bill’s passing due to the fact that he was the lone MLA from his Raijor Dal.
“When the Bill was passed on August 13, I could not sleep that night. This is a devastating act, which will destroy the communal harmony among people and ruin the rural economy.” Mr. Gogoi said.
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The Hindu-Muslim unity of the country is being hampered
He compared the Bill’s passage to the demolition of the Babri Masjid, saying that both are equally disastrous for the country’s Hindu-Muslim harmony.
The Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021
The Assam Cattle Preservation Bill, 2021, was passed by the Assembly on August 13 and seeks to prohibit cattle slaughter and the sale of beef in areas where Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs are the majority or within a five-kilometer radius of a temple or satra (Vaishnavite monasteries) or any other institution as may be prescribed by the authorities.
Mr Gogoi also claimed that during the Bill’s passage, Mr Sarma misquoted Mahatma Gandhi.
A question on freedom of choice of food
The MLA apologised to the people, particularly Muslims and Christians, for not being able to halt the legislation’s passing, claiming that prohibiting beef would restrict people’s freedom of food choice.
“This Bill is going to destroy the rural economy and will lead to severe inflation. We have already seen price rise in other meats, eggs and fish after the Bill was introduced. All dairy farmers will be impacted by this as they will not be able to sell their non-milking cows for slaughter.” MLA Akhil Gogoi said.
“The market involved with purchase and sale of cows will be severely impacted. The size of this market is Rs 20,000-30,000 crore, most of which is in rural areas. Now, this will be impacted,” he also claimed.
Not only the Muslim community but also the Hindu communities will get affected
Though the BJP-led government introduced the Act to target Muslims, Mr Gogoi believes it will disproportionately affect the state’s indigenous Hindus who rely on the cattle business.
On August 4, Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Minister Atul Bora informed the Assembly that, out of a total meat output of 5.3 crore kg, Assam produced 33.68 lakh kg of cattle meat and 1.59 lakh kg of buffalo meat in 2019-20.