Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam. Photo: Hindustan Times

In the latest embarrassment for the ruling BJP government, newly elected Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam has stirred up controversy by telling foreign tourists to “eat beef in your own country and then come to India,” according to media reports.

Minister Alphons made the statement when questioned about cow vigilantism and restrictions on beef consumption in several states of India and how it affected India’s hospitality sector. “They should eat beef in their own country and then come to India,” he laughed.

Kannanthanam was addressing a convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators in Bhubaneswar.

Recently, Kannanthanam was appointed as the minister of state for tourism (independent charge) in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new team.

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