New Delhi, Aug 5, 2017: It seems like the newly inducted ministers in Narendra Modi cabinet conspired to embarrass the government as another incident comes into highlight after Alphons Kannanthanam, a bureaucrat who has joined government as Minister of State for Tourism and IT, racked up a controversy by saying that “Kerala will continue eating beef.”
He added that he would act like a “bridge” between the Christian community and the BJP. He also asserted that the Modi government is inclusive and “doesn’t really have a problem” with beef being consumed in his state Kerala and in Goa, which the BJP rules.
Talking to PTI, he said, “As Goa chief minister, Manohar Parrikar has said that beef will be consumed in the state. Similarly, it will be consumed in Kerala.”
“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 said.
He later told a TV channel that he would act as a bridge between the Christian community and the BJP.
Addressing some of the concerns that were raised by the Christian community about the BJP in the past, Kannanthanam said it was mere propaganda.
“There was a lot of propaganda in 2014, that if Modi comes to power Christians will be burnt, churches will be demolished. The prime minister has made it clear that believe whatever you want, I will protect you. The PM has done a fantastic job in taking everyone along,” he said.
Cow slaughter is banned in as many as 21 states such as Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. It is also banned in the Union Territory of Chandigarh.
Kerala is among eight states where there are no restrictions on cow slaughter.
However, widespread protests and “beef fests” were organised in Kerala in May following a central government notification banning sale and purchase of cattle from animal markets for slaughter.
The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has stayed the Centre’s notification on cattle slaughter ban, while the Kerala High Court refused to order a stay on it.
The Supreme Court later clarified that Madras High Court’s stay on the notification is operational, implying that the stay on cattle slaughter ban is effective across the country.