Union Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said he had never challenged anybody on eating of beef but only stated that eating was a personal habit and no one can force anybody on this issue. The minister’s clarification came in the Lok Sabha after YSR Congress member Varaprasad Rao said that Rijiju had reportedly stated that he had every right to eat beef and had challenged anyone from stopping him. Rijiju said he had not challenged anyone and a wrong impression was created “as if I have gone out of the way and made a challenge that come and stop me” from eating beef. “I just made a statement in front of the civil society in Mizoram which is a dominated by one particular community. I said that eating is a personal habit and nobody will come and force you at what to eat and what not to eat,” he said.
He also said that Rao should not speak conclusively in the House by charging BJP members of being behind the Dadri lynching incident,saying one should wait for the report first. “He (Rao) made a statement about Dadri. He cannot make a conclusive remark that BJP members are involved here till the report comes,” Rijiju said. Rao later said he was not speaking his views but what had been reported in the media.
On beef eating issue, Rao said “for centuries people have eaten of their own choice. No government, however, has… the right to tinker with the Constitution’s basic structure.”