GUWAHATI: Banendra Kumar Mushahary, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate contesting from the Gouripur Assembly Constituency, has landed in the proverbial soup for allegedly announcing that “beef is our national food.”
Purvanchal Hindu Aikya Mancha, a pro-Hindutva outfit, taking affront to the MLA hopeful’s statement, has filed an FIR at the Dispur Police station in Guwahati city demanding “prompt action” against the politician.
“When due to elections MCC is on force how can a candidate give such a sensitive comment to attract votes of a particular community hurting sentiments of another community. We PHOM strongly condemn this act and request you to kindly register a case against Mr. Banendra Kumar Mushahary under appropriate sections of IPC and take strong legal actions for violating MCC and spreading hatred and enmity amongst two religious communities,” the organization wrote in its FIR.
In the footage from a pre-election public rally, the BJP leader can be heard saying, “The beef that we eat…how can it be banned? It is a national food,” he can be heard saying in a clip, before going on to accuse the opposition party of peddling ‘lies.’
Lima Mahanta, the president of the PHOM, said that the politician’s utterance is a threat to the “Hindu way of life” and jeopardizes what their organization has been working for.
“He has said this only to earn votes from minority people. So does this mean that when the politicians come to power — will cow slaughter become commonplace. In many instances, we have seen that people have gotten into trouble for trying to stop cow slaughter.”
The statement seems to have triggered outrage in Gouripur, with the local Hindus demanding the election candidate to tender an apology.
According to sources, Mushahary has made this statement in order to appease the minority population in the Constituency, considered pivotal in order to script a victory.
In the 2016 Assembly election, the AIUDF’s Nijanur Rehman, with 73,412 votes, easily beat Mushahary, then with the BPF, who got 53,512 votes.
In the 2011 Assembly election, the Mushahary, with 53,849 votes, overwhelmed the AUIDF’s Nijanur Rahman, who got 37,190 votes.
Mushahary, who was elected in the Assam Legislative Assembly election in 1996 to 2001 and 2011 from the Gauripur constituency, defected to the Bharatiya Janata Party on December 29, 2020.