They want withdrawal of affidavit filed in SC on arecanut ban

As many as 15 BJP MPs from Karnataka on Tuesday staged a 30-minute demonstration before the Gandhi statue in the Parliament Complex here seeking the Union Health Ministry to withdraw its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court to ban arecanut, as the move will severely affect the growers. Lok Sabha member from Uttara Kannada Anant Kumar Hegde told The Hindu that the Centre was trying to ban the product without valid reasons.

‘Sensitive’

His party would raise the issue in Parliament too as the subject was very sensitive as it involved the lives of arecanut growers and farmers mainly in Karnataka, he said.

Among others, senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar participated in the protest.

According to informed sources, the Health Ministry, in an affidavit filed to the Supreme Court recently on banning gutka, termed arecanut as injurious to health. It had created apprehension among the arecanut growers.

Consumption of arecanut laced with tobacco is known to be injurious to health. It is wrong to brand arecanut as a substance that could result in a health hazard. The consumption of arecanut was part of Indian tradition. Arecanut is used as medicine in ayurveda also, they said.

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