National

Not asked to quit parliamentary panel, says BJP MP

Amidst raging controversy over his remarks on smoking, BJP MP Shyama Charan Gupta, on Sunday, dismissed reports that he has been asked to step down from a parliamentary panel but said he would obey instructions from his party high command.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi >is learnt to have told senior BJP colleagues that party MPs who have conflict of interest should avoid becoming members of parliamentary committees. Sources said that the Prime Minister raised the issue with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu on the sidelines of the BJP National Executive meeting in Bengaluru on Saturday.

“Till now, I have not received any instructions [to step down]. If I receive any sort of instructions, I will accept it,” he told PTI over phone from his constituency Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. He, however, added he would visit the national capital in a day or two.

“Whatever the party leadership decides, I will abide by it,” Mr. Gupta said.

The BJP MP is a member of the Committee of Subordinate Legislations examining the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act 2003 which has already asked the government to hold its proposal to increase the size of pictorial warnings on tobacco products from the present 40 per cent to 85 per cent.

He had claimed that there was no clear proof yet linking smoking cigarettes and cancer.

“I can produce a lot of people in front of you who are chain smokers of beedi and till date they have had no disease, no cancer... You get diabetes due to eating sugar, rice, potatoes. Why don’t you write warnings for all these things as well,” Mr. Gupta had said.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 9:14:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/not-asked-to-quit-parliamentary-panel-shyama-charan-gupta/article7070525.ece

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