Yogi Adityanath delivered his first public speech as UP Chief Minister in his hometown Gorakhpur.
In a suggestion that the environment and not politics had led to the crackdown of abattoirs in Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday declared that the BJP government was determined to shut down illegal slaughterhouses but wouldn't touch the licensed ones that don't violate the law.
Mr Yogi - delivering his first public speech in Gorakhpur, his constituency and home for over 20 years - said the illegal slaughterhouses would have to close down. "But the government will not touch those (abattoirs) that are operating as per the law and have a valid licence," he said.
The BJP manifesto had pledged to crack down on illegal abattoirs that have been operating across the state, and ban large, mechanised abattoirs. Most of the mechanised abattoirs were set up for export of buffalo meat.
A minister in the Adityanath Cabinet, Siddharth Nath Singh had earlier told NDTV that only illegal abattoirs were under the state's radar. On day one, Mr Adityanath did order the police to shut illegal abattoirs. But as district officials went out in the field, several mechanised abattoirs too were sealed on grounds that they had slipped on one rule or the other. For example, one mechanised abattoir in western Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur was sealed due to a pending permit to draw groundwater. Others, according to the owners, were sealed in grounds that included one dysfunctional camera.
At his Gorakhpur rally, Mr Adityanath stressed that action was being taken in line with orders of the National Green Tribunal that had been pushing the state administration to force abattoirs to get their act together.
According to proceedings before the NGT, many licensed abattoirs too have had a patchy track record in meeting requirements under environmental laws including a working effluent treatment plant.