Thiruvananthapuram, May 27: Calling the notification of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate banning the sale of cattle for slaughter “surprising and unsuitable for democracy”, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan criticised the move of the centre. Accusing centre of disregarding people’s right to eat, Vijayan said, “If they have banned the slaughter of cattle today, they will ban the consumption of fish tomorrow. It is not right that a government decides the choice of food of the people. With this decision, the Centre is destroying a sector which employs thousands of people.” Also Read - Arnab Goswami’s Plea Against Privilege Notice Adjourned for Two weeks by SC

Vijayan further said the RSS seems to be driving the agenda at the centre and the centre failed miserably in containing the violence of ”gau-rakshaks”. Vijayan said,  “Instead of restraining the Sangh Parivar from assaulting those who transport cattle, the Centre has now entirely banned the slaughter of cattle. This makes it clear who holds the reins of power at the Centre.” Also Read - Kerala Govt Decides to Bring Out Ordinance to Withdraw Amendment to Kerala Police Act

Vijayan alleged the move will affect the weakest sections of the society. He said,”More than 25 lakh of people are working in the leather and other associated industries. Most of them are Dalits and they are going to be the most affected.” Also Read - Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Puts Controversial State Police Act Amendment on Hold

Kerala Agriculture Minister V S Sunil Kumar said the notification was a challenge to the country’s federal system. India is a democratic nation and the centre’s decision to impose the ban without consulting the states amounted to violation of the federal system, he said.

CPI(M) state secretary, Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said in his Facebook post that the government led by Narendra Modi, who was an RSS Pracharak, has come out with the notification at a time when the country was all set to celebrate Ramzan.

This apart, the move enraged the opposition leaders as well. KPCC President M M Hassan also criticised the decision saying it was against the Constitution and encroachment on the fundamental rights of the citizens. The notification banning cattle trade for meat was unconstitutional and violation of federal principles, Dr Varughese George, National General Secretary of Janata Dal(U) said.