– Raheem Khan
Jaipur, Dec. 5: Balmukund Acharya, newly elected BJP MLA from Hawamahal assembly seat of the capital city, arrived here on Monday to stop non-veg food carts on the streets, just 24 hours after the results of the Assembly elections were declared. Many of his videos are going viral on social media in which he is seen clashing with shopkeepers and police administration along with a crowd of supporters. In the video, he and his supporters are seen asking shopkeepers for licenses.
Balmukund Acharya has defeated Congress’s RR Tiwari from Hawamahal Assembly seat by just 974 votes. Acharya has been in the news for doing such work even before becoming MLA. Now the newly elected MLAs have come into action mode as soon as they received the certificate. Early in the morning, Acharya gave instructions on phone to the officers of the corporation to close illegal meat shops, the video of which is also going viral on social media. By Monday afternoon, Acharya himself reached the market with his supporters to get the meat shops closed.
Another video of MLA Balmukund Acharya is going viral on social media in which he is seen telling a non-veg hotel owner: ‘This is Aparakashi, you want to make it Karachi (Pakistan), show where is the license, remove it from your mind, I am not here to eat sweet.’
Balmukund Acharya told the hotel staff, ‘Where is the license, show the license, listen, do not neglect it, remove it from your mind, I am not going to eat sweets, neither will I eat nor will I let anyone eat them, do not keep this in your mind even one percent. Doesn’t even have a license, is still encroached upon. How can tourists come here? There is a bad smell. You want to make Karachi, this is Aparakashi. Don’t show your eyes at all, Baba, there is chaos (Baba Bawal hai).’
While giving clarification on Tuesday after the video went viral, Acharya said, ‘Whoever wants to sell non-veg can sell but no one can sell against the rules. Yesterday I called the officials as per the rules and was checking the license.’
Now Balmukund Acharya says that we want everyone’s support, everyone’s trust and everyone’s development. ‘If anyone has felt bad then I am sorry.’
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) National President Kavita Srivastava, State President Bhanwar Meghvanshi, and State General Secretary Anant Bhatnagar, in a press statement, said the direct action, without adopting the legal process, against non-veg businessmen by newly elected MLA Balmukund Acharya is a condemnable act. ‘Attacking people’s food and dietary practices in this way is unconstitutional.’
‘This act of the MLA is against minority business and blatant violation of the street vendors law,’ the statement added.
The PUCL statement further said that there is no mention of veg and non-veg in the street vendors law. ‘There is a rule to provide security to street vendors by creating vending zones and constituting town vending committees. Till now the Town Vending Committee has not given licenses to the vendors and has not even identified the vending zones. In such a situation, it is extremely worrying for a newly elected MLA to take the law into his hands and threaten meat shops and those selling non-veg on street vendors. We strongly condemn this,’ it added.
The statement maintained that the newly elected MLAs, who have not even taken oath yet, have started threatening the citizens of their own areas by behaving in a discriminatory manner, which is an act against the basic spirit of the Indian Constitution. ‘The MLA should stop such action immediately.’
PUCL termed it as an attack on people’s cultural right to their choice of dietary practices (The Right to My Choice of Dietary Practices), saying that in a state like Rajasthan, there is diversity in the way people eat, dress and live their lives. Regarding this, there has never been any conflict. In such a situation, interference in the food habits of citizens is the beginning of a wrong tradition. The new government of Rajasthan is expected to protect civil rights, and its MLAs are not expected to take direct action without following any procedure.