New Delhi: Gujarat will soon join the ranks of countries that have banned the sale of beef and dairy products, following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government in New Delhi.
Sources in the state government told The Hindu that the union will form a union in the upcoming state assembly elections and will be headed by the BJP, a move likely to boost Modi’s support in the southern state.
According to the sources, the union is likely to take up beef and other animal products, including dairy products.
Sources said that the party is planning to adopt the Gujarat model, which is in line with the BJP’s efforts to revive manufacturing, with beef exports to the United States and India expected to increase by 70 percent by 2019, and India’s imports to reach nearly $10 billion by 2020.
The state government, which has been in power since 2004, is currently facing a major economic crisis due to a drought, with food prices rising and an estimated 7 million people living on less than $2 a day.
The government has been trying to revive industries in the drought-hit state with various projects such as the construction of a $2.5 billion coal-fired power plant.
The union will also be responsible for the development of Gujarat, a state that has seen a rapid growth in the number of dairy farmers, and will work to support them, the sources said.
Sources told The Hindustan Times that Gujarat will also have a committee of farmers, which will look into the use of animals for farming, and other agricultural issues.
Ahead of the meeting, Modi met the heads of the three main state unions, the National All-India Farmers Federation (NAIFA), the All India Agricultural Workers’ Federation (AIWF), and the Union of All India Cattlemen and the Fishermen (UACFC), who are all members of the BJP.
Modi is known for his strong ties with the farmers and the state governments.
A number of BJP leaders have visited Gujarat in the past, including Modi’s son-in-law and former Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani, and state minister Ashish Shelar.
Modis government has said that it is seeking a ban on the sale and sale of cow parts in Gujarat as part of its efforts to combat animal cruelty.
However, the state has faced an outcry from the animal rights community, who say the meat ban has hurt the economy.
The demand for a ban has gone up after Prime Minister Modi, who was born in Gujarat, announced his decision to ban beef in December 2015.
The meat ban was a major victory for the animal activists, who had campaigned for it for years.