Mumbai: The order to ban meat and close slaughter houses during the Jain festival was taken by the previous Congress government and not by the present BJP led government in Maharashtra, state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said while responding to an open letter written by journalist Rajdeep Sardesai.
"My state government did not take the decision to ban meat. Not a single new order went from the government to any local body. The Congress government in 2004 took the decision to close a slaughter-house for two days in Paryushan Parva", the Chief Minister said in an open letter addressed to Rajdeep Sardesai.
Stating that the decision was then conveyed to all municipal corporations, Fadnavis said, "Since then all municipal corporations including Mira-Bhaindar started implementing it."
"Additionally", he said, "Municipal corporations like Mumbai and Mira-Bhaindar adopted resolutions to ban it for additional days within their own powers, which in the case of Mumbai dates back to 1994."
The chief minister also questioned the silence of the media when the ban orders were issued during the Congress rule.
"Surprisingly, none of you ever objected to it until we came to power. Obviously you were comfortable with the pseudo-secular image of the previous government, howsoever corrupt and non-performing it was", he said.
In his letter the Chief Minister also hit back on a section of the media, which according to him, is targetting his government though having little knowledge of the true picture of what's going on in the state.
"Your letter is an excellent example of how a section of the media, without having sound knowledge, bashes a government with an agenda", Fadnavis said.