Soon the mouthwatering sights of tandoori chicken and skewered kebabs outside eateries in south Delhi could be history — as the BJP continues to meddle in the gastronomic affairs of citizens.
The BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has proposed to ban the display of non-vegetarian food items outside restaurants and eateries in the area. The ban on display will extend to both raw and cooked meat. The reasons cited are hygiene as well as the “sentiments” of vegetarian people.
The proposal was brought in the SDMC House and was approved in a recent meeting. The resolution was moved by councillors Raj Dutt and seconded by Nandini Sharma, reported the Hindustan Times.
“It has been observed that shops displaying non-veg outside their premises attracts dogs and raise hygiene issue. Besides, it is also about hurting the sentiments of people who are vegetarian,” said leader of the House Shikha Rai, who approved the proposal, HT reported.
The PTI also quoted an SDMC spokesperson as saying:
“It was a private member resolution originally moved by a councillor from Kakrola village in Najafgarh Zone in the Health Committee meeting. The committee then moved it to the SDMC House, which then approved it.”
“Since it was a private member resolution, the proposal would now be sent to the Commissioner to be examined, if it is in accordance with the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act. He may accept or reject it,” the spokesperson added.
The proposal will come for final confirmation in the next meeting scheduled on 3 January.
“If restaurant owners are found displaying non-vegetarian items in public, action against them should be taken as per the municipal law,” the proposal stated, according to HT.
Once passed, it will take two more months to frame the policy with the terms and conditions as per the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.
“We have nothing against shops displaying the items inside their premises,” said a spokesperson to HT.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor told PTI that the move was taken keeping in kind public health and assured that there would be no ban on the sale of non-vegetarian food items.
The Indian Medical Association objected to the proposal, saying the hygiene concerns extended to both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods.
“We do not find any rationale behind the move that prohibits display of only non-vegetarian food outside shops, restaurants,” IMA president KK Aggarwal told PTI.
“If contamination of food is the concern then why keep vegetarian food and snacks out of this order?”
The proposal also drew reactions from other political parties.
The PTI quoted Congress councillor Abhishek Dutt, leader of his party in the SDMC House, as saying:
“This is interference in people’s personal lives. Just because the BJP has majority in the House it cannot make such dictatorial decisions. If it’s related to hygiene they should challan those flouting rules. What is the need for bringing in such a blanket ban?”
Dutt said they had opposed the move but it was approved due to the BJP’s majority in the House.
Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj of Aam Aadmi Party told PTI that the proposal should be discussed and the AAP councillors would share their views.
BJP governments at the Centre, and several states like UP, have in the recent past carried out drives against meat sellers using similar spurious reasoning.