‘Eat beef in your own country and then come to India’. This is the advice newly appointed tourism minister KJ Alphons has for foreign visitors.
“They can eat beef in their own country and then come to India. This is a cock-and-bull story,” the bureaucrat-turned-minister said when asked if beef ban had affected tourism in India.
Alphons was speaking to reporters at the 33rd annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators in Bhubaneswar.
On September 5, his first day in office, Alphons had said beef would continue to be consumed in Kerala.
The 1979 Kerala cadre officer had said that the BJP never dictated that beef cannot be eaten. “As Goa chief minister, Manohar Parrikar has said that beef will be consumed in the state. Similarly, it will be consumed in Kerala,” Alphons had said.
“The BJP does not mandate that beef cannot be eaten. We don’t dictate food habits in any place. It is for the people to decide,” he had said.
Cow slaughter is banned in as many as 21 states. Consumption of beef has also been barred in some of these states, including Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. It is also banned in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.