Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil has asked civic officials not to take coercive action against vendors selling non-vegetarian food on roadside carts.
Patil’s statement came after BJP-ruled civic bodies issued directives to remove carts and stalls selling non-vegetarian food from the main roads, saying they hurt religious feelings.
“Everyone in this country has the liberty to decide what to eat. It is not appropriate to remove a person selling non-vegetarian food on a cart if people are buying from him. There is no such provision in the law either. People are free to sell anything that is not prohibited. So there is no question of removing carts,” Patil said in Rajkot on Saturday, according to The Indian Express.
However, when pointed out that the mayor of Rajkot and office-bearers of the Bhavnagar Municipal Corporation had issued precisely such orders, he said: “They all have been instructed not to do any such thing.”
Rajkot had launched a drive earlier this month to remove non-vegetarian food carts saying they were encroaching on the roads and the public display of such food items was hurting the religious sentiments of the vegetarians. Soon, other civic bodies in the state followed the suit and took similar action.
However, Patil as well Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said last week that people were free to eat whatever they liked. At the same time, the CM had also said the removal of encroachments was a decision of civic bodies.