In remarks that may kick up a debate in poll-bound Kerala, a senior Communist Party of India-Marxist leader today said there is no comparison between Sangh Parivar's demand for a complete ban on beef and Catholic Church's call for a ban on liquor.
Opposing Sangh outfits' demand for beef ban in the country, CPI-M Politburo member M A Baby said buffalo meat contains lot of proteins while liquor is a social threat.
"These are two separate issues," he told reporters when asked how he, as a Communist leader, compares the Catholic church's demand for total liquor prohibition and Sangh outfits' demand for beef ban in a liberal society.
"Beef is a food item which gives lot of protein to the poor. Liquor is a social threat. So liquor and beef cannot be compared," the CPI-M leader said at a meet-the-press programme, organised by the Ernakulam Press Club.
A day after CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury clarified that a party-led government "will not reverse" the UDF government's liquor policy if it comes to power, Baby said the party's decision was not influenced by the 'pressure tactics' of the Catholic church on this issue.
"The Church has no role in it," he said when asked if the CPI-M was succumbing to the church's campaign against the liquor policy of the LDF.
The Catholic church in Kerala had demanded that LDF clarify whether it would reopen closed bars if voted to power in the May 16 assembly polls and also wondered why it was "secretive" about its liquor policy.
Reiterating the party's position on the issue articulated by Yechury, Baby said the party's policy has always been to further reduce liquor consumption in Kerala society.
Reaching out to the Catholic Church, Baby said both the church and the Communists can jointly fight the growing menace of liquor and drug mafia in the state.