Meat export: Modi attacks PM as Centre turns tables

Union ministries issue ads on cotton, beef exports

Meat politics has entered Gujarat elections. After the BJP campaign talked of the Centre giving subsidies on mutton export but not cotton, the Union Textile and Commerce and Industry Ministers released full-page advertisements in newspapers here on Friday listing statistics to show "the truth behind this illusionary propaganda".Within hours, Chief Minister Narendra Modi shot back. Speaking in Navsari as part of the Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra, he said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had "announced a Rs 15-crore subsidy to those wanting to start a slaughterhouse".

"The PM, instead of misleading the people of Gujarat, should give a direct answer to my question. Have you not announced Rs 15 crore subsidy for those who start a slaughterhouse?... Are you not giving 50 per cent subsidy for transportation of beef and mutton from ports? Have you not given crores of rupees in subsidy for meat export?" The advertisement by union minister of commerce and industry said: "Meat exports being promoted? Here is the truth behind this. It went on to state that export of cow meat was banned so there was no question of subsidy. "As per the constitution, protection of animals was a state subject, so all laws relating to this were the rights of a state government," it said.

It added how buffalo meat export was allowed since 1969, and between 1998-99 and 2003-04 "...under the NDA regime, at least 15 lakh tonnes of meat (buffalo) was exported from India".

The advertisement pointed out that it was the state government's duty to act against anything that went against protection of animal rights and to lay down rules.

The textile ministry's ad stated that farmers in Gujarat had earned profits over Rs 7,000 crore in 2011-12 because of the centre's policies.

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