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Discussion on food habits not good for country’s health: Kiren Rijiju

New Delhi: Amid debate on intolerance and beef consumption, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Friday that no minister has the power to direct any citizen on what is to be done or what is to be eaten, remarking that discussions on food habits is not good for the country’s health.

Rijiju also said that the country has not witnessed any rise in incidents of communal riots over the last 18 months, so the matter of “intolerance” does not require a debate.

Nationalist People’s Party president PA Sangma said “the only visible thing of the Centre in Northeast is the Indian Army” as he asked the central government to act as an executive body in terms of creating infrastructure rather than merely financing it.

Rijiju and Sangma were participating here in a session of Agenda Aaj Tak titled ‘North-east Par Seedhi Nazar’.

Speaking in response to a question that should BJP members and MPs be sensitised about eating patterns in the country as a large number of people in North-east consume beef, Rijiju said, “Don’t put me in dock by asking such a question. If media feels any statement is not right then don’t show it. If you think any debate should not be run then don’t run it.

“I went to Mizoram and I was having an interaction with the civil society there. They were so agitated that they said, ‘We all eat beef. So should we go to Pakistan?’ I cited the Constitution and said as a minister I cannot direct anyone on what to do and what to eat.

“I explained them of constitutional protection,” Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs, said.