Newly appointed Union minister for tourism, KJ Alphons, has told foreign tourists to eat beef in their countries and then come to India, media reports have stated.
Alphons says, 'They (tourists) can eat beef in their own country and come here yaar.' He was replying to questions on whether the restriction on beef in several states would impact tourism.
Alphons was speaking on the sidelines of the 33rd annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators in Bhubaneswar.
Alphons' words directly contradict his earlier statement which he had made on Monday, which was his first day as tourism minister. He had said then that the BJP had never said 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,' he 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.
He had then even gone on to say that his act could be a bridge between the Christian community and the BJP. Alphons is the the only Christian to be part of the NDA government.
On Thursday, when he was asked about his earlier comments, Alphons said, 'It's a cock-and-bull story. I am not the food minister to decide on it',