Even after coming under heavy criticism over his 'toilet' remarks soon after he became a Union Minister, K.J. Alphons on Monday said he will continue to speak of toilets."No amount of ridicule will prevent me from speaking about the need of building toilets as 67 per cent of the country's population does not have a toilet. The dream of my Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) is to see that people have food, house and a toilet and this is our dream and a big issue for us. I don't mind being ridiculed on this," said Alphons.Alphons, a former bureaucrat and a Left-supported legislator (2006-11) joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2011 and was a surprise inclusion as a Union Minister three weeks back. He interacted on Monday with the media in the state capital when he opened up."I do not look into WhatsApp and if I am able to make people laugh, then it's fine. I am a thick skinned person. After a bad experience of cracking a joke in Odisha, now I am scared to crack jokes," the Union Minister of State (independent charge) of Tourism, IT and Electronics said during the media interaction here.
Touching upon the difference of opinion aired by former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, Alphons said all know that he does not like Finance Minister Arun Jaitley."Sinha is trying to find some work even as he is 80 years old now. He has got some individual agenda and hence making such statements. Time is required for things to fall in place -- be it demonetisation or GST," said Alphons.On his specific targets for Kerala, he said tourism is one sector where Kerala can work wonders."We have made it very clear to the state government that the Centre will give any amount of funds for big tourism projects," said Alphons.On the recent phenomenon of trade unions surfacing in the IT sector in Kerala, he said none need to be worried of trade unions."The need of the hour for IT to flourish in Kerala is the state should now set up product companies and get to see the use of artificial intelligence and big data. Gone are the days of looking into IT business by merely being the back office of IT companies in the West," added Alphons.