Kerala will eat beef, no food emergency in India, says KJ Alphons

KJ Alphons Takes Charge Of Tourism Ministry

Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose with new Union Cabinet Ministers Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Dharmendra Pradhan, Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman after the reshuffle at Rashtrapati Bhavan, on September 3, 2017 in New Delhi, India.

With this, Kerala got its first berth in the Union Cabinet. Though there were rumours that Suresh Gopi may be considered during the cabinet reshuffle, the Kannanthanam episode has nearly sealed any such chance for other Malayali MPs in the Rajya Sabha. He took oath as the minister of state. "I didn't hear anyone say anything in that regard, other than Kannanthanam who must be happy for himself", he said, while speaking to media.

Nearly half a dozen Union Ministers were asked to quit to make headroom for a massive reshuffle of the Council of Ministers during a meeting with BJP chief Amit Shah on Thursday. BJP sources also told DC that the ploy of BJP national president Amit Shah is to cosy up to the Catholic church through Mr Kannanthanam who hails from Kanjirapally (his former Assembly constituency) which has got a sizable population of Syrian Christians.

Alphons Kannanthanam is a distinguished former IAS officer of the 1979 batch, Kerala cadre. In 2011, he fell out with the Left and joined the BJP.

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With the cabinet lacking any representation from Kerala at the present, Kannanthanam induction is part of BJP's plans to make inroads into Kerala and reach out to the state's Christian minority. He was elected an MLA from Kanjirappally which is dominated by Syrian Christians.

The bureaucrat-turned-politician touched upon this controversial issue of beef, and said just like Manohar Parrikar as the Chief Minister of Goa claimed beef will be consumed in his state, similarly it will be consumed in Kerala. One of the glittering achievements was when he led the literacy movement in the state and made Kottayam town as the first 100 percent literate town in the country in 1989.

Kannanthanam was known as the "Demolition Man" for having ordered razing of thousands of illegal constructions when he was heading the Delhi Development Authority.

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