The South Delhi Municipal Corporation, which is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party, has proposed that food displayed on outdoor stalls be vegetarian. The proposal bans any kind of “raw and cooked meat” displayed by shop-owners outside their establishments, Leader of House Shikha Rai told NDTV.

The resolution was moved by councillors Raj Dutt and seconded by Nandini Sharma, who said that meat items on display outside shops could be a hygiene problem, and also “hurt the sentiments of people who are vegetarian”, the Hindustan Times reported. Food made with meat would still be allowed to be put on display inside the shops.

An official from the corporation told the Hindustan Times that the proposal will need to be confirmed at their next meeting, which is on January 3, after which it will take two months to frame the policy according to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.

South Delhi includes areas like Greater Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Hauz Khas, Defence Colony and New Friends Colony. Skewers of meat and kebabs are a common sight at outdoor stalls and outside markets in these areas.

Plenty of objections

The Congress and members of the Indian Medical Association have objected to the SDMC’s proposal, NDTV reported. The Indian Medical Association’s president KK Agarwal said they did not see the rationale behind the proposal. “If contamination of food is the concern then why keep out vegetarian food and snacks out of this order,” he said.

The Congress’ leader in the SDMC House, Abhishek Dutt, said they had opposed the move but were outnumbered by the BJP in the corporation. “If it’s related to hygiene they should challan those flouting rules. What is the need for bringing in such a blanket ban,” he said.