Foreigners Don't Come Here to Eat Beef: Tourism Minister Defends Statement
“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.
File photo of BJP minister KJ Alphons. (PTI)
New Delhi: Defending his statement that beef ban had no impact on India’s tourism industry, newly appointed Tourism Minister KJ Alphons on Friday said foreigners don’t visit India to eat beef.
“People don’t come to India to eat beef, do they? The answer is No. So what’s the big deal?” the bureaucrat-turned-politician said.
Speaking to reporters earlier, Alphons had said that tourists should beef in their own country. “They can eat beef in their own country and then come to India. This is a cock-and-bull story,” he had said.
Alphons was speaking to reporters at the 33rd annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators in Bhubaneswar.
The comment seemed to mark a U-turn from Alphons’s statement on September 5, his first day in office, when he had said that 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.
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