The Meghalaya Assembly on Monday passed a resolution against a central government notification that had imposed restrictions on selling cattle at animal markets for slaughter. Discussing the Centre’s notification, the state Assembly said, “The order will hamper the rights of the people” and that “laws are already in place for cattle”, reported FirstPost.

Hundreds of people had participated in a beef festival organised by two former Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in Meghalaya on Saturday, June 10, reported Hindustan Times. On June 8, more than 5,000 BJP youth workers in Meghalaya had quit the party in protest against the Centre’s new notification. The youth wing leader, Wilver Greham Danggo, had claimed the party was trying to suppress tribal groups and other beef-eating communities. Danggo had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “sabka saath sabka vikas” campaign was not going well as violent vigilante groups were killing people in the name of cow protection.

BJP leader Bernard Marak had quit for similar reasons on June 1. “The BJP is hurting sentiments here on the beef issue. Tribal society has its own laws. The BJP is trying to push Hindutva,” he had said.

In March, the BJP had indicated that its call for a ban on beef is not applicable to states in the country’s North East. Party leaders in Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland had said that the crackdown on meat shops and slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh would not be replicated in the three north-eastern states that will have their Assembly polls next year.

Several other states have also massively criticised the notification, including Kerala, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh.