Modi Cabinet reshuffle: Kerala's Alphons Kannanthanam sworn in Minister of State


He added further The BJP does not mandate that beef can not be eaten.

In July, amid debate over beef-ban, Goa CM Parrikar said in the Assembly that he would ensure that there was no shortage of beef in Goa and, if required, it would be imported from neighbouring states.

BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan has termed the elevation of party leader from the state Alphons Kannanthanam as a union minister as an Onam gift to Kerala but the move has evidently caught the state BJP leadership unawares though they are not willing to admit it openly. Add to this are the spiteful and often threatening statements by a string of BJP leaders, including UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, party MPs Sakshi Maharaj, etc, against those who support beef consumption. He took oath as the minister of state.

But then, can the emphatic assertion by Alphons have a greater meaning?

The former bureaucrat is one of the nine ministers of state drafted into the Narendra Modi government on Sunday. The central leadership doesn't care about the opinion or suggestion of the state leaders.

Two other new faces are Ashwini Kumar Choubey, a member of the Lok Sabha from Bihar, and Shiv Pratap Shukla from Uttar Pradesh.All the new ministers are from the BJP as its allies were not part of the exercise.Six ministers of the Union Cabinet had put in their papers, days ahead of the reshuffle.

Later, Kannanthanam, known for his strong anti-corruption stance, joined the saffron party and went on to become the member of the national executive. "Alphons" elevation signals more worries are in store for the warring factions in the BJP state leadership. The ministership is a gift to his stand. "BJP doesn't have a problem", he said while speaking a news channel after assuming charge of the Tourism Ministry on Monday while replying to a question on the issue.

"Every state government that decides to have a law or not have a law on cow slaughter, does so keeping in mind local food habits... in the north-east too every state government will keep this in account", Kohli had said.