After a storm erupted over a "beef fry" tweet by Kerala Tourism on Makar Sankranti day, the Communist Party of India-Marxist-led Left Democratic Front government on Friday clarified its aim was not to hurt anyone's religious beliefs.
Slamming the state, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Shobha Karandlaje tweeted the "Kerala communist govt have declared a war against Hindus of the state!"
Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran criticised those who were trying to give a communal colour to the tourism department tweet on the Kerala delicacy -- "Beef Ularthiyathu" and said in the southern state none links food with religion.
"Tender chunks of beef, slow-roasted with aromatic spices, coconut pieces, and curry leaves. A recipe for the most classic dish, Beef Ularthiyathu, the stuff of legends, from the land of spices, Kerala," the tweet read along with a recipe link.
Some Twitter users had showed their displeasure as the tweet had appeared on January 15 on Makar Sankranti day, a Hindu festival celebrated as Pongal, Bihu and Lohri in other parts of the country.
Surendran said those trying to communalise the matter were the ones who were creating a controversy by saying that pictures of pork dishes should also be uploaded by the department.
Various dishes made of pork are already on the website, he pointed out.
Shobha Karandlaje, BJP MP from Udupi, wrote "The state government is taking a ride on Hindu sentiments by glorifying beef on #MakarSankranti day. Sick mindset of Commies of Kerala
is out for display. Communism is a disease, shame on u @KeralaTourism!" the BJP leader tweeted.
Another Twitter user wrote: "Are you out of your mind on Pongal and Sankranti when we revere cows, oxen, and cattle for their contribution to mankind's easy existence and culture... on one hand we have Gangireddula meLam in Telugu states, Jallikattu in TN, and Kambala races in Karnataka and you showcase this."
However, it was not only brickbats alone for Kerala Tourism, as many came out in support for the "beef fry tweet".
"One Porotta and beef fry - a match made in heaven" was the response of a Kerala Twitter user who had also shared a picture of the dish.
Another Twitter user shared an old video of BJP's Rajya Sabha MP Suresh Gopi talking about how he gained weight after consuming beef.
"Dear Bhakts, This is Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi... apparently he is also an MP of BJP (not elected by people, of course)," the tweet said.
Some pointed out that pork is also much desired dish of the Keralites.
"We even have hit movie based on pork business. Maybe you should come out of your well," the tweet read.