Madhya Pradesh: Shop sells milk and chicken together, BJP frowns
In Madhya Pradesh, a shop has become the latest reason why the ruling Congress and BJP-led Opposition are fighting. The shop sells chicken and milk together, and the saffron party claimed this is hurting "religious sentiments". Meanwhile, a minister of the government dismissed BJP's concerns and said the shop was set up to make the lives of people easier. Here's what happened.
The shop sells a special kind of chicken
About a month ago, the Madhya Pradesh Livestock and Poultry Development Corporation (MPLPDC) set up a shop in Bhopal's Vaishali Nagar, where chicken and milk are sold side by side. The shop sells a protein-rich chicken breed, called Kadaknath, which is reared by cooperatives of tribal women in Jhabua and Alirajpur districts. The Kamal Nath-led government intends to increase the earnings of these women.
Underlining importance of milk, BJP MLA wrote letter to Nath
However, the idea of the shop didn't sit well with BJP, which governed MP for 15 years before losing elections in December 2018. In a letter to Nath, BJP MLA Rameshwar Sharma said cow milk has a special significance in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sanatan Dharma. He underlined that milk is a symbol of purity and is served as an offering to deities.
Hope you will take action before Durga Puja: Sharma
"I request you to stop the sale of chicken and cow milk from one place. I am sure before the start of Durga festival you will ensure that chicken and cow milk are sold from parlors located some distance from each other," Sharma said.
Under criticism, minister said shop was opened on pilot basis
While Sharma spoke about "religious sentiments", Animal Husbandry Minister Lakhan Singh Yadav said the shop was opened on a pilot basis and its success will dictate the future course of action. "People will get good quality eggs and milk. Tribals will get employment. Kadaknath chicken is also being sold in the chicken parlor that is only available in Jhabua and Alirajpur," he said.
Meanwhile, MPLPDC official said products are stored separately
To note, Kadaknath chicken is the black meat of a bird having the same name. Its demand is high due to nutritious and medicinal content and is sold at Rs. 900/kg. In an attempt to quell doubts about the "purity" of milk, MPLPDC Managing Director, Dr. HMS Bhadoria told Indian Express that both the products are stored in freezers in adjacent parlors.
People can choose to not buy products: Dr. Bhadoria
Not only this but the vendors are also different, Dr. Bhadoria added. He disclosed the chicken is marinated at Mandidip, an industrial township near Bhopal. Thereafter, it is brought to the parlor in a ready-to-cook state. Meanwhile, the milk is brought from a farm on the outskirts of Bhopal. "It's not binding on anyone to buy products from there," Dr. Bhadoria went on.