Had no inkling I was becoming minister: KJ Alphons

The demolition man who sought life beyond files once adorned Time's elite list

Alphons Kannanthanam and his wife Sheela

A day after swearing as the Minister of State for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam on Monday said that Kerala will still eat beef and there is no food emergency in India.

Former KeralaIAS officer Alphons Kannanthanam, has been appointed as minister of state in the ministry of electronics and IT.

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.

Alphons added that though he had no great experience of the tourism sector, he would do his best to take it to new heights.

No stranger to Delhi where he was famous as the "Demolition Man", bureaucrat-turned-politician Alphons Kannanthanam, 64, has beaten all seasoned Kerala BJP leaders to become the first party leader from the southern state to become a Union Minister.

"The presence of Alphons Kannanthanam will add glitter to the anti-corruption image of the Modi government".

For once both the BJP state leadership and the general public in Kerala proved to be equals.

By showing the party as being open, even if selectively, to people's choice of what they wish to eat and letting ministers assert this in media interactions, could the BJP be eyeing an image-makeover that will ultimately make it more acceptable in areas where it now is seen as a political pariah? He said that Kannanthanam would be able to promote the development aspirations of the state.

On the lines of BJP State Presidents' words, BJP's K Surendran too, said that inducting a Keralite to the cabinet was Narendra Modi's Onam gift to people of Kerala. "The weightage is only to those who have either impressed the Modi-Amit Shah team, either by their work in the past or who have shown potential to shoulder responsibilities at the will of the central leadership", sources said.

"We are happy that Kannanthanam was chosen for the ministerial berth.

Although I am happy that a friend has become a minister, this can not help BJP save its face", Chennithala said.

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