Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) politician, also the Chief Minister of Haryana State, Manohar Lal Khattar told The Indian Express Newspaper said, ''Muslims can continue to live in this country, but they will have to give up eating beef. The cow is an article of faith here."
The chief minister said "freedom of one person is only to the extent that it is not hurting another person."
"Eating beef hurts the sentiments of another community, even constitutionally you cannot do this. The constitution says you cannot do something that offends me, I cannot do something that offends you," he said.
"They can be Muslim even after they stop eating beef, can't they? It is written nowhere that Muslims have to eat beef, nor is it written anywhere in Christianity that they have to eat beef."
The slaughter of cow is already banned by most of the states in India due to it is considered as a "holy animal" by the Hindu community in India.
India’s federal government, headed by the BJP, has been under the pressure from Hindu conservatives to take action more to "protect cows."
A 50-year-old Muslim man was killed by a conservative Hindu group in Uttar Pradesh last month after rumours spread that his family had selling beef in their shop. His 22-year-old son was also seriously injured in the attack.
Khattar said the killing was a "result of misunderstanding" and "both sides" are moving wrongly. "It should not have happened - from both sides. But I say that attacking and killing the person was also wrong," he said.
The spokesperson of main the opposition Congress party, Rashid Alvi, criticised Khattar’s "unexpected" opinion and Alvi said "Mr. Khattar has no right to remain chief minister."
Although the slaughter of cows has been banned, India is one of the top beef exporter in the world according to a report by the US department of agriculture. It is expected to export 2.4 million tonnes of beef in 2015, ahead of Brazil's exports 2 million tonnes.