Differing from his earlier statement on beef politics, new Union Tourism minister from Kerala Alphons Kannanthanam said that foreign tourists can visit India after “eating beef from their own countries”.
Speaking about beef ban in many states of India affecting the tourism sector, the minister said, “They (foreigner tourists) can eat beef in their country and come to India.”
Alphons was speaking at the 33rd annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators in Odisha on Thursday.
Earlier, he had said that BJP has no plans to impose a food code or food emergency in any state including Kerala.
"It is absolutely untrue. Kerala is a beef-eating state. It is not going to stop eating beef. It will continue to eat beef. BJP doesn't have a problem," Alphons had told NDTV after taking charge of the Tourism Ministry.
He said that in Goa, which is ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the chief minister had made it clear that the state would continue to eat beef.
“We can go much beyond Incredible India. We want to create an India where we love ourselves, love a clean India and its history. Then we tell the world, come and see us,” he had earlier told The Indian Express.
The bureaucrat-turned-politician shifted his loyalties to the BJP in 2011, after first entering the Kerala Assembly with the support of the LDF in 2006. While he received support from the LDF for his reputation as an honest, upright officer, his five-year tenure as MLA of Kanjirapally constituency wasn’t considered noteworthy.
Alphons, who is a Roman Catholic hailing from the central Kerala district of Kottayam, is being seen as a candidate who can woo the Church and Christian voters towards the NDA. His first statement on beef consumption in Kerala was considered by many political analysts to be a step in this direction.