I sought closure of illegal proliferation of meat shops, not Muslims: BJP’s new MLA Balmukund Acharya

Acharya, who won the Hawa Mahal seat by a narrow margin, wasted no time in issuing directives to close down all non-vegetarian food stalls in the Hawa Mahal area.

JAIPUR | Updated: 05 December, 2023 7:21 pm IST
The New Indian speaks to BJP MLA from Hawa Mahal, Balmukund Acharya

JAIPUR: The newly elected BJP MLA from Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal constituency, Balmukund Acharya, made headlines following the party’s return to power in Rajasthan. After securing 115 out of 199 seats, the BJP saw victory, displacing the Ashok Gehlot-led government.

Acharya, who won the Hawa Mahal seat by a narrow margin, wasted no time in issuing directives to close down all non-vegetarian food stalls in the Hawa Mahal area. The move, aimed at ensuring cultural and religious sensitivities, has ignited a public debate.

 

 

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In an exclusive interview with The New Indian, Acharya explained his motivation behind the directive. “For years, there has been a request to address the proliferation of meat shops in narrow lanes across Jaipur. However, my primary concern is the unauthorised opening of liquor and meat shops in close proximity to temples and gurudwaras,” he clarified.

 

 

During the interview, Acharya further stated, “Issues arise when you have these shops right outside temples, and mothers have to navigate through lanes where dogs scavenge for meat remains. It’s not just a cultural concern but also a matter of safety. These shops often operate without proper licenses, and we requested officials to investigate how they are operating illegally.”

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Highlighting Jaipur’s status as a tourist hub and a spiritual city, Acharya underscored the need to consider the sentiments of those who observe fasting and follow certain dietary restrictions, such as Vaishnavs and Jains. He clarified, “We have not stopped or prevented any caste or community with licenses from operating. We have only requested that they comply with the rules. There are around 1,000-2,000 such shops, and we have asked them to operate in accordance with the regulations.”

Acharya had won from Hawa Mahal by a mere 974 votes over Congress veteran leader R R Tiwari.

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