Thiruvananthapuram: The appropriate authority to inspect the serving of beef in New Delhi’s Kerala House was a veterinary officer and not Delhi Police, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Chandy said here on Thursday that he has written a second letter to Modi over the police raid at the Kerala House in the national capital city which has created much political upheaval.
“The first letter was the formal expression of protest and today’s letter is one which points out the provisions as per the rules laid down,” Chandy said.
“It’s under the Delhi Agricultural Cattle Preservation Act, 1994. The appropriate authority — the veterinary officer — should first give (notice) in writing and then enter the Kerala House to conduct an inspection,” the chief minister said.
“In the act, the Delhi Police’s role is to search the vehicles at the entry point if it carries cattle for slaughter. The rules are very, very clear and hence what they did was against the rules,” he maintained.
In his second letter to Modi, Chandy has admonished the Delhi Police officials and termed their barging into the Kerala House canteen as “tyrannical and reprehensible”.
“The whole episode is a total disregard of legal niceties by the Delhi Police, which is controlled by the central government in a constitutionally federal structure,” he wrote.
On Monday, Delhi Police conducted a raid at the Kerala House canteen following a complaint that beef was being served there. Cow slaughter and beef are legally banned in Delhi.
India’s main opposition Congress Party will simplify the goods and services tax (GST) and make “rational economic decisions” to attract foreign investment if voted back to power in a general election due by May, leader Rahul Gandhi said Saturday.
Launched in 2017, the GST was initially hailed as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s biggest economic reform as it replaced more than a dozen federal and state levies and unified Asia’s third-largest economy.
But its chaotic implementation and complexities — months after a shock ban by Modi on high-value bank currency aimed at unearthing untaxed wealth — badly hurt small businesses and led to millions of job losses in the cash-driven economy, presenting the biggest challenge to Modi’s re-election chances.
Gandhi, scion of India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, said during a visit to Dubai that foreign investment was at a multiyear low in India because of the “ill-advised and badly thought out economic moves” such as the currency ban and a “poorly designed GST.”
Quick growth promised
“We will take some rational economic decisions,” he told a press conference, which was broadcast live on Twitter. “We will restructure the GST and we will embrace investments from the Middle East and other parts of the world. We are the party of [India’s economic] liberalization; we are the party that gave the fastest economic growth in the first decade of the century, and will do that again.”
He said his main priority would be to create jobs, simplify the GST, rebuild confidence in institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India — whose governor resigned recently after a fight over autonomy with the government, and the Supreme Court.
Four Supreme Court judges held a rare press conference early last year, saying that “unless this institution is preserved and it maintains its equanimity, democracy will not survive in this country.”
Modi told a BJP convention in New Delhi on Saturday that for Congress “every institution was wrong and only they were right.”
The Congress press conference was organized by the Indian Overseas Congress, which is present in about 35 countries, as Gandhi tries to reach out to rich Indians living abroad for funds and social media support for the party that has dominated the country’s politics for decades before being nearly decimated in the last general election in 2014 by Modi.
But back home, Gandhi received a jolt when bitter rivals, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP), announced an election tie-up without Congress in Uttar Pradesh state, which sends the highest number of lawmakers to the lower house of parliament.
“The BSP and SP have made a political decision,” Gandhi said. “It’s on us on how to strengthen the Congress Party in Uttar Pradesh and we will fight with our full capacity. Whether we do or their alliance does, the BJP is not winning there.”