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'BJP opposed US dairy items over cows' non-veg diet'

Posted on Nov 08, 10:07AM | IANS

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj Wednesday said that former US ambassador Timothy Roemer had raised the issue of dairy exports from his country during the visit of President Barack Obama to India two years ago but she had not accepted the suggestion as cows were given non-vegetarian diet in the US.

Sushma Swaraj said at a function organised by Rashtriya Godhan Mahasangh here that Roemer met her before she was to make courtesy call on Obama.

Without naming Roemer, she said the "US ambassador came to talk on certain issues".

She said the ambassador told her that his country wanted to export dairy products to India. "I told him it is not possible as cultural issues are involved. In our country, cow is vegetarian, you feed her non-vegetarian (diet)," Sushma Swaraj said.

The Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha said that she had told the then US ambassador that "Indians will not even like to touch, not to speak of drinking" product made of such milk. She told him that cows in India were served with items like mustard oil cake, cotton seeds and grass.

Sushma Swaraj said when the ambassador told her that they will also give vegetarian diet to the cows so that diary products were exported to India, she told him that it will take three years to take out effect of non-vegetarian food given to cows.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said the terms of import of diary products from Australia was strictly negotiated so that they keep it "vegetarian". Obama, who was re-elected as US president, had visited India in November 2010.