New Delhi, Feb 19: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said that eating beef is not a problem but celebrating it or organising festivals in its name is a reason for concern. Also Read - 10,064 Cases, 137 Deaths: India Records Lowest COVID-19 Infections Since June | Key Points

Addressing a gathering at Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of R.A. Poddar College of Commerce in Mumbai, Naidu said that, “You want to eat Beef, eat. Why festival? Similarly a Kiss Festival, if you wish to kiss why you need a festival or anyone’s permission. Then you have Afzal Guru. People chanting his name. What is happening? He tried to explode our parliament.” Also Read - Mumbai: TV Actress Accuses Pilot of Rape on Pretext of Marriage, Probe Underway

Last year, the government had announced strict rules to prohibit sale of animals for slaughter or religious sacrifice at livestock markets and animal fairs that are a common occurrence in rural areas. The animals under purview are cows, bulls, bullocks, buffaloes, steers, heifers, calves and camels.

In the past too, Naidu had addressed the beef issue, and while stressing on how food is an individual’s choice, he said that he is a strict non-vegetarian and nobody told him what to eat or what not.

Many illegal slaughter houses were closed down across the country. Meat export organisations have protested the move saying it was sudden and arbitrary and will affect their business that is already taking a hit over the actions of BJP governments that have discouraged the trade.

The demands by right-wing Hindu groups to stop the slaughter of cows, considered holy in Hinduism, could stoke communal tensions with Muslims, who dominate the meat industry and make up 14 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people. Most of the beef produced in India comes from buffalo rather than cattle.