"There are a lot of things to eat in this country apart from cow," Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti said in Kolkata while stressing that it was the "duty" of state governments to ban cow slaughter.
Talking about cow slaughter and consumption of beef, Jyoti said, "Such things should not happen. If you are asking for respect from us, then you should also learn to respect us first.
"In a democracy it is the duty of the state governments to ban cow slaughter. There are a lot of things to eat in this country apart from cow."
West Bengal is among the states where there are no restrictions on cow slaughter.
Jyoti also alleged that the issue of alleged intolerance was raised as a pre-planned move to malign BJP ahead of Bihar polls.
"Intolerance is a issue that was created with political motive to malign us ahead of the Bihar poll. It was pre-planned and that is why you can't see any protest after the results are out," Jyoti told PTI.
Jyoti, who is Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries, said that it was the neutral votes that made all the difference in the Bihar poll.
"It is the 5-10 per cent neutral votes that made the difference in Bihar. After coming to power at the Centre, we have won several states. I give my best wishes to Nitish Kumarji," Jyoti said.
On writers returning their awards in protest against 'intolerance', she said, "I have immense respect for the writers, but awards should not have been returned."
"Awards are not just a token of honour. But it is an honour from the entire country. So if you are returning the award then you are dishonouring the country.
"If it is due to an issue, then it was there earlier too during the Sikh riots and Bhagalpur riots. Politics should not have been brought into it. There has been politics regarding this thing (returning of awards)," she said.
Jyoti said that the Dadri lynching was a case of law and order failure on the part of the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh.
"This incident should not have happened. It is a law and order problem, which is a state subject. If the state had taken action, then such situation wouldn't have happened. Instead of taking action, they are blaming us," she said.
Jyoti also slammed UP minister Azam Khan for his comments that Paris attacks were a reaction to the actions of the West in the Middle East.
"This is shameful and that too coming from a person like Azam Khan. In a democracy everybody has
the right to speak. But you should not talk so much that it brings down the prestige of the country before the world," she said.
"We have kept a close watch on people who speak in favour of Pakistan and ISIS. But there are many people in the minority community who are really good people and are working for the development of the nation. Those who commit the act of terror do not belong to any religion, caste or creed," she said.