Mumbai: Slamming BJP's silence over its MP Dilip Gandhi's controversial comment supporting tobacco, the Shiv Sena today took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has taken a broom to clean dirt from roads, but who will clean the "garbage spilling out from people's mouths".
The Sena also mocked the MP for backing tobacco consumption, saying he should be awarded a "Nobel prize" for his surprising discovery that tobacco consumption does not lead to cancer.
"For coming up with this surprising discovery that tobacco does not cancer, Dilip Gandhi does not need a doctor. He needs to be given a Nobel Prize. The MP has gone to the next level of discovery and has thereby stunned all those who oppose tobacco," the BJP ally in Maharashtra said in an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
Narendra Modi. Pic/ AFP
"Don't ask him when did he do this discovery and what is the scientific explanation behind his findings. But this man (Gandhi) has done immense service to the tobacco lobby by describing gutka in this way. May be that's why the Paan association has welcomed this," it added.
The party said the tobacco industry may back Gandhi's outrageous comments, but families of those who have suffered due to tobacco addiction will curse him for backing the lobby. "Out of 100 people admitted in Mumbai's Tata hospital, 60-65 suffer from cancer due to consuming tobacco.
Doctors and health experts have time and again explained the harmful effects of tobacco. On one hand, PM Modi is talking against tobacco and on the other, his MP asks people to fearlessly consume tobacco," the Sena said.
"The PM has taken a broom to clean streets of dirt. But who will clean the garbage coming out of people's mouths?" it questioned.
Gandhi, who is head of Parliamentary panel on subordinate legislation examining the provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003, had created a stir with his statement that there is no Indian study linking tobacco with cancer. He further went on to say that tobacco actually improves digestion.
"There is no study which shows that tobacco causes cancer. There are people who have chewed tobacco but survived for 100 years," Gandhi had said at Adhal village in Srigonda tehsil of Ahmednagar district on Friday.