Kolkata: Slamming the BJP and the RSS for allegedly indulging in politics over beef, the Congress state unit on Friday questioned why the ruling party at the Centre was unable to prevent cattle smuggling which is thriving in the country.
"On one hand, there is so much brouhaha over beef-eating, including lynching of a person. On the other, cattle smuggling continues unabated. The irony is that BJP-ruled Rajasthan is the originating point of cattle smuggling, from where all cattle is procured and smuggled into Bangladesh," West Bengal Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.
The Lok Sabha member from Bengal also charged the Narendra Modi government with hypocrisy.
"The BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh are playing politics over beef just to garner political mileage. Annually, India exports carabeef worth Rs.33,000 crore. Modi during his visit to China even pleaded with authorities there to import meat from India," he said.
"All this politics over beef is nothing but a ploy by Modi's BJP to exploit the religious sentiments of the people for political mileage," the Congress leader said.
Chowdhury said 17-18 lakh cattle heads were procured annually from Rajasthan and smuggled to Bangladesh through Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
"The starting point of this illegal trade is Rajasthan, where the Bharatiya Janata Party rules. The final point is Bengal, which is ruled by BJP's tacit ally Trinamool Congress. So who will own the responsibility for thriving cattle smuggling," asked Chowdhury.
He, however, expressed reservations about holding of beef parties in the city.
"Cow slaughter is allowed in Bengal since ages and people have been eating beef here without any restrictions. But if an event is organised merely to hurt the sentiments of other communities, then such a thing should not be encouraged," added Chowdhury.
A "beef party" was organised by a city organisation against the "BJP government's infringement of the people's right to choice".
Sahitya Akademi awardee poet Subodh Sarkar, former state minister and expelled Marxist leader Abdur Razzak Molla and former city mayor Biskah Ranjan Bhattacharya among others participated in the protest event.