Both Dalit leaders stirred a controversy as many states have banned the eating of beef and slaughter of cows, considered sacred in Hinduism.

Raj, who represents North West Delhi in the Lok Sabha, was trolled for his Twitter post that Jamaican sprinter Bolt won nine Olympic medals because of his beef diet. He gave clarifications later, saying that all he meant was the athletes can find a way to excel despite adversities and they should not blame circumstances for their failures.

"All I wanted to say that giving excuses that we don't have infrastructure or there is corruption should be done away with and lesson, dedication should be learnt from Usain Bolt... What I wanted to say is our players should find ways and means as he found ways and means," he said, adding there is no lack of facilities for sports persons here.

Union Minister Athawale agreed '50%' with Raj’s remarks, saying if people want, they should be allowed to eat beef.

“Cow slaughter is already banned. Farmers who have buffaloes, which are aged and unproductive, can at least sell them and earn a livelihood,” said the RPI(A) leader, whose party is an NDA constituent.

Athawale had opposed the Maharashtra government’s decision to ban beef last year.

“Bolt is a big sports personality and I agree 50% with Udit Raj that eating beef has made him strong and thus he could win medals. But if we see it in a larger perspective, there are sportsmen who do not eat beef or eat just mutton or are simply vegetarians but won awards,” Athawale said

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