Madhya Pradesh animal husbandry minister Kusum Mehdele has been raving about the virtues of eating frog legs and fish, while the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Madhya Pradesh has been trying to encourage vegetarianism.
At a function, Mehdele said that fish diets can help combat malnutrition in children. She spoke out openly in praise of fish and frog legs in the presence of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan who is a strict vegetarian and had even forced anganwadis to stop serving eggs. Stopping short of prescribing fish for anganwadis, she said it was a great way to tackle malnutrition among children.
Making many in the audience laugh, she said, “You must have eaten, or at least heard about how tasty frog legs are.” She added that she was a non-vegetarian who loved fish and saw nothing wrong in talking about it in public.
“Only milk will be served to children and pregnant women at the anganwadi centres,” Chouhan told a meeting of BJP workers over the weekend.
Incidentally in April this year, women and child development department principal secretary JN Kansotia had asked officers in Alirajpur, Mandla and Hoshangabad districts to send proposals regarding the introduction of egg curry or boiled eggs in anganwadi meals on experimental basis.
His direction came after some district officers suggested to him that since eggs are nutritious and protein-rich, they should be given to children to help tackle malnourishment.
In September 2010 as well, Chouhan had rejected a similar proposal. “As long I am the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, eggs will not be introduced in the anganwadi centres. In any case, the human body is meant to consume vegetarian food, which has everything the human body requires,” he said.