A day after suggesting that people should be allowed to eat meat of bulls and bullocks as a source of protein, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Tuesday opposed a complete ban on beef saying farmers will suffer.
The Social Justice Minister said it will be economically difficult for farmers to keep cows and bulls which are of no use.
However, he said the cow is an auspicious animal and there could be a temporary ban during auspicious days.
"Cow is auspicious for Hindus and we should respect that...but other animals like bulls and even cows also which are not giving milk, are usually sold by farmers," he said.
"So if there is a complete ban on beef, then farmers cannot sell and it will be economically difficult for them to keep these animals. Therefore, we oppose that," Mr Athawale said on the sidelines of an event.
He added that there can be a temporary ban for few days as per specific religions.
"We totally oppose complete ban on beef. But, there could be ban for 2-4 days during the auspicious days of some specific religions to take care of their emotions," he added.
Mr Athawale's remarks came in the wake of Delhi BJP MP Udit Raj's comment that Jamaican athlete Usain Bolt went on to win nine Olympic golds despite being born in poverty after his trainer advised him to eat beef twice a day.
Mr Athawale had opposed the Maharashtra government's decision to ban beef last year.
His remarks hold significance as last month self-appointed cow vigilantes had assaulted Dalits who make a living out of skinning dead cows.