New Delhi: The newly sworn Union minister for Tourism KJ Alphons on Thursday has advised visitors to “eat beef in their own country” before travelling to India.
Responding to questions on whether the restriction on beef in several states would impact tourism in India, Alphons said, “They (tourists) can eat beef in their own country and come here.”
The minister was speaking at a convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
A day after he was sworn in as one of the new ministers in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet, bureaucrat-turned-politician from Kerala, Alphons on Monday told NDTV that the ruling BJP had “no food code” for states.
“In Goa, ruled by BJP, people continue to eat beef. Kerala will also continue to eat beef, BJP doesn’t really have a problem with that,” said the ex-bureaucrat dubbed Delhi’s demolition man during his stint in Delhi’s top civic planning agency.
Just three days later, his advice to foreigners appeared to strike a different note. When he was reminded of his earlier comments, he said, “That is a cock and bull story…I am not the food minister…I am the minister for Tourism.”
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.