Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons. News18

Defending Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), newly elected Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam said that neither Modi nor the party should be blamed for lynching or any violence, according to media reports.

When he was asked about the incidents of mob lynching and communal clashes, Kannanthanam said there are “nuts” in every society, adding that it is not right to blame a particular leader. 

“Any incident of lynching, violence or murder is bad and is criminal. Anybody who indulges in these activities must be booked and [put] in jail. The PM himself has said that. In a country of 1.3 billion, there are some people who are nuts. And there are such people all over the world, be it New York, Paris, London or anywhere else,”  News 18 quoted him as saying.

A few days ago, Kannanthanam stirred up controversy by telling foreign tourists to “eat beef in your own country and then come to India.” However, clarifying his earlier remark, he told News 18: “I’ve repeatedly said people will decide what they want to eat, no matter what area they belong to. One can’t be more liberal than that. These are non-negotiables in a democracy.”