The new union tourism minister, Alphons Kannanthanam, has asked the tourists coming from abroad to “eat beef in your own country and then come to India.”
His statement comes in the aftermath of him being questioned about cow vigilantism and restrictions on beef consumption in several states of India.
“They should eat beef in your own country and then come to India,” he said and laughed.
The minister was addressing the 33rd annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators in Bhubaneswar.
Earlier Kannanthanam has said that beef consumption would continue in Kerala.
However, when the minister was asked about his earlier statements, he said, “It’s a cock-and-bull story. I am not the food minister to decide on it.”
Alphons Kannanthanam is a bureaucrat-turned-politician, who was appointed as the Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge) in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new team.