Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hindu party wants Commonwealth Games beef ban

India's leading opposition party wants a ban on beef at the Commonwealth Games later this year.

Rajnath Singh, a former president and senior member of the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), wrote to Games organisers demanding beef be kept off the menu, media said.

"Cow is considered sacred in India," Singh wrote to Suresh Kalmadi, who heads the organising committee for the October 3-14 Games in New Delhi, DNA newspaper reported.

"The Commonwealth Games have become an important event where we should use every possible opportunity to highlight our cultural values and age-old traditions.

"By removing beef from the menu card, the organising committee would not only empathise with the popular sentiment, but also save the Games from agitations and other possible controversies."

Most Hindus worship cows and do not eat beef. Several states prohibit the slaughter of cows.

Some 6,000 competitors and 2,000 officials from 71 nations are expected for the Games.

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