The Central government's new rules banning the sale of cows and buffaloes for slaughter through animal markets has invited severe criticism from the state of Kerala.
From the ruling Left Democratic Front (LDF) government to the opposition parties, all have condemned the central government's move.
Reacting to the new rules under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "The Central government's rules on cattle slaughter and trade are part of the Centre's effort to further RSS agenda in the country. India is a country of diverse religions and culture. Pluralism is the essence of our democracy. Various actions of the Centre are against this pluralism. The Sangh parivar unleashed violence in many parts of the country in the name of protesting against cow slaughter. Crores of people in the country slaughter cattle for their right to food."
Kerala's Agriculture Minister VS Sunil Kumar said that the centre's decision was unacceptable and unconstitutional.
"We will seek legal resort against this. The centre has taken undue advantage of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and has misused it. By this move, the central government in practice, is banning consumption of meat, which is not acceptable," the minister said.
Saying that the move will discourage farmers from breeding cattle, Minister Sunil Kumar said that the Centre was interfering in the powers of the states by bringing out the regulation.
CPI (M) state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, too, condemned the move and said that it would be met with strong opposition.
KPCC President MM Hassan, on the other hand, called the centre's move "undemocratic" and "unconstitutional."
"It is an outright violation of human rights. Banning cow, buffalo slaughter, especially in states such as Kerala, is denying the people their right to eat. Since there is no law that prohibits cow slaughter in Kerala, we will not allow for this regulation to come into practice," MM Hassan said.
He also alleged that with the BJP government at the centre including cow slaughter within the purview of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 1960, BJP is trying to enforce "Sangh Parivar agenda."
He added: "The cow politics BJP is implementing in UP is for the purpose of polarising communities. By implementing ban on cow slaughter in Kerala, BJP is trying to do the same in the state. Congress will resist such an action."
Meanwhile, BJP's K Surendran welcomed the centre's decision.
"In Kerala, thousands of unhealthy cows are brought across the border from other states and slaughtered. This creates serious health issues," Surendran said.