Foreigners can eat beef outside before visiting India: Tourism Minister
A day after being sworn in, new Tourism Minister KJ Alphons had asserted there's no food code issued by the BJP, that states like Kerala and Goa would continue eating beef. Yesterday he had different advice for foreign tourists: "(Tourists) can eat beef in their own country and come here." The remark came after questions about impact of cow vigilantism incidents on tourism.
Who is KJ Alphons?
DDA's "Demolition Man" KJ Alphons, among Time's 1994 Young Global Leaders list, is the new MoS of Tourism and IT. He had entered politics with the Left's support and joined BJP in 2011. As Kottayam district collector, he made it India's first 100% literate town in 1989. Last year, he was appointed Chandigarh's administrator, but was withdrawn after protests by the ruling ally SAD.
Thoughts on beef right after swearing in
"I don't think BJP prescribes a food code for every state...the Goa CM has made clear that Goa is a beef-eating state and shall continue. Kerala is a beef-eating state and it shall continue." However, he later dismissed these comments as "a cock-and-bull story".
Can Alphons help the BJP gain another northeast state?
Interestingly, Alphons has been made BJP's in-charge in poll-bound Meghalaya, a state where the saffron party's local leaders wanted to celebrate the Modi government's anniversary with a beef-rice-beer party. Many leaders quit after being denied permission; the central leadership maintained beef parties were an excuse to quit ahead of elections. With Alphon's induction, BJP is hopeful of gaining a stronghold in the Christian-majority state.