Goa Forward Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s alliance partner in Goa, on Tuesday criticised the Centre’s new rules on cattle sale for slaughter in animal markets, saying it could lead the farmers and meat traders to extreme poverty.

GFP leader and Goa agriculture minister Vijai Sardesai (pictured above) said the rules had been formulated haphazardly. “I am not happy with the new rules. The new rules can lead the farmers and meat traders to penury and affect the leather and hospitality industry.” However, he was quick to add that this was just the opinion of the Goa Forward Party and not of the government.

Sardesai claimed that “market forces” were also trying to take advantage of the beef ban. “One day there is beef shortage in Goa and another day there is enough supply. There is a possibility that some market forces are playing a role in it. Someone is trying to increase the rate of beef in guise of the recent developments,” he said.

It was feared that the Centre’s notification may lead to a beef shortage. However, the state-run Goa Meat Complex Limited assured that that would not happen, PTI said.

Earlier in the day, BJP’s North Garo Hills district president Bachu Marak resigned from the party over the Centre’s new rules, saying that he cannot “compromise on the sentiments of the Garos”.

On May 26, the Centre had issued new rules that require cattle traders to give an undertaking that the animals being sold at markets would only be used for agricultural purposes. Several states have massively criticised the notification, including Kerala, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh, among others.