Harish Rawat
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat (second from left).Twitter/Harish Rawat

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, a Congress leader, joined the BJP in its protest against beef eating in India by saying that people who slaughter cows have "no right to live in the country".

"Anyone who kills cows, no matter which community he belongs to, is India's biggest enemy and has no right to live in the country," Rawat said at a function in Haridwar on Tuesday.

He said that his government had passed a proposal against cow slaughtering in the state and will take strict action against those who violate the law.

The BJP has long been protesting against the killing of cows in the country, while the Congress protested against the incidents linked to beef-eating, such as lynching of a man for eating beef in Dadri. However, Rawat's statement has contradicted the Congress' stand on beef row.

It is to be seen now, if the Congress changes its stand to support its leader or disapproves of his comment.

The BJP leaders have recently triggered controversies by making provoking speeches on beef-eating in India. BJP's Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar was among them. He had reportedly asked the Muslims to give up beef if they wanted to live in India.

"Muslim rahein, magar is desh mein beef khaana chhodna hi hoga unko. Yahan ki manyata hai gau (Muslims can continue to live in this country, but they will have to give up eating beef. The cow is an article of faith here)," Khattar had said.

He later claimed that his words were "misconstrued and twisted" and he is ready to apologise if anyone was hurt by his words.

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