MOHUA CHATTERJEE, ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK, AUGUST 4, 2006
NEW DELHI: With Coke and Pepsi coming under the pesticide scanner again and Parliament debating the issue with full steam, BJP on Thursday used the opportunity to attack actor Aamir Khan for appearing as the brand ambassador for Coca Cola. The opposition party also demanded that ad campaigns for Coke and Pepsi should be banned.
As if waiting for a chance to get at the Bollywood Khan for having taken a stand against raising the height of the Narmada Dam, which the BJP-ruled government in Gujarat was in favour of, the party took a dig at him saying: “Those people like Aamir Khan who are concerned about farmers getting their share, should realise that a lot of water is used up by plants where aerated drinks are produced.”
Though demanding a ban on Coke and Pepsi advertising campaigns would also affect other Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai, BJP spokesperson V K Malhotra made it a point to name Aamir Khan.
At the height of the Narmada dam controversy when Medha Patkar’s Narmada Bachao Andolan had locked horns with some state governments, most of which are BJP-ruled, in the rehabilitation versus raising-the-dam-height issue, Aamir Khan had supported NBA and openly criticised the Gujarat government, taking an anti-Narendra Modi stand.
As a fall-out, his film Fanaa was banned in Gujarat when it was released soon after the controversy and when Aamir Khan refused to apologise to the “people of Gujarat” though BJP leaders, including Shatrughan Sinha, demanded it from him.
Not having forgotten the stand that the actor took against the party’s pet chief minister, BJP on Thursday was quick to settle scores with Khan.