Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has imposed a complete ban on the sale of liquor and meat in Mathura.
Making the announcement at the Krishna Janmashtami event Monday, the CM backed the demands of saints and local political representatives of the Braj region (Mathura-Vrindavan) who sought a ban on sale of alcohol and non-vegetarian food in the region.
Adityanath directed the officers concerned to draw up plans for the implementation of the ban, which should also account for engaging people involved in liquor and meat trade in other trades.
He suggested that such traders could take up selling milk and revive the industry in Mathura, known for producing huge quantities of animal milk.
Adityanath also added that every effort must be made to develop the Braj region and there will be no shortage of funds for this. We are looking at a blend of modern technology and the cultural and spiritual heritage for the development of the region, he said.
During his speech, the CM also took a dig at the opposition while talking about the “transformation” that has happened over the past five years. He added that those who were afraid to visit temples are now calling Ram Lala or Lord Krishna as their own.
“Earlier governments feared being branded as communal if they paid obeisance to deities in temples. Those who were afraid to visit temples are now calling lord Ram and Krishna as their own,” he added.
Demand for ban began in 2017
According to a source in the CM’s Office, the ban on the sale of liquor and meat is not new in Mathura. In 2017, several officials, including the secretary of the Shri Krishna Janmasthan Temple, demanded a ban on liquor and meat in Braj region. This was raised when neighbouring Vrindavan and Barsan became the first in Uttar Pradesh to be declared ‘pavitra tirth sthal’ or holy shrines, by the Yogi Adityanath government on 27 October 2017.
Once declared a holy shrine, non-vegetarian food and liquor is not sold in the area.
“It has been a demand from the party’s local unit for a long time. Meat and liquor trading should be banned in those areas where we have famous temples. Now, our government is going to fulfill this. It will help our politics because several of our MLAs promised this during the 2017 polls. We will also try for such a demand in other places too,” a UP BJP functionary told ThePrint.
After coming to power in 2017, CM Yogi had ordered a ban on cow smuggling and directed state police to close down illegal slaughterhouses. The BJP functionary pointed out that the decision favoured the party in creating narrative.
With inputs from PTI
(Edited by Manasa Mohan)