India

Jaya Bachchan Slams "Drugs In Bollywood" Claim, Kangana Ranaut Jumps In

Jaya Bachchan Slams

Rajya Sabha: Jaya Bachchan, 72, said the government must stand by the entertainment industry.

New Delhi:

Samajwadi Party MP and veteran actor Jaya Bachchan has hit out at actor-politician Ravi Kishan who said in parliament yesterday that drug addiction is in the film industry too, saying that the industry is being "flogged by social media and the government's non-support".

"Just because of a few people, you cannot tarnish the whole industry... I was really embarrassed and ashamed that yesterday one our members in the Lok Sabha, who is from the industry, spoke against the film industry. Jis thaali me khaate hain usi me chched karte hain," Ms Bachchan said in the Rajya Sabha today, referring to the BJP MP's statement in Lok Sabha. Her remark in Hindi, draws from the idiom, "Bite the hand that feeds you".

Ravi Kishan, a popular actor of Bhojpuri and Hindi films, and a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh, raised in parliament the drugs-related allegations that have emerged against the film industry in the Sushant Singh Rajput investigations. He alleged a "conspiracy" by Pakistan and China to destroy the country's younger citizens.

"Drug addiction is in the film industry too. Several people have been apprehended. The NCB has been doing very good work. I urge the central government to take strict action against the culprits soon. Give them a befitting punishment and bring an end to this conspiracy by neighbouring countries," Ravi Kishan said in the Lok Sabha on Day One of parliament's monsoon session, referring to the ongoing Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) investigation linked to the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, in which actor Rhea Chakraborty, her brother Showik and four more were arrested last week.

Ms Bachchan, 72, said the such statements are being made to divert the attention from the state of the economy and unemployment. "The entertainment industry in our country provides direct employment every day to five lakh people and indirect employment to five million people. At a time when the financial situation is in a depressing state and employment is at the worst level, in order to divert the attention of the people, we are being used to be flogged by social media and the government's non-support. But people who have made their name in this film industry have called it a gutter. I completely disagree," she said.

Actor Kangana Ranaut, who has brought herself to the forefront over her comments in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, soon jumped in, questioning Ms Bachchan's statements in the upper house.

"I expected Jaya-ji to support what I said. Not everyone in the industry consumes drugs but those who do are part of a plan to finish the world's largest film industry. When Jaya-ji and I joined, the situation was not like this, but now, we need to protect the industry," Ravi Kishan told news agency ANI.

The Narcotics Control Bureau is investigating charges of drug-dealing and use based on chats found on the phone of Rhea Chakraborty, a 28-year-old actor being investigated over the death of her boyfriend, popular star Sushant Singh Rajput, on June 14.

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Rhea Chakraborty, who is in a Mumbai jail, has been accused of organising drugs for Mr Rajput. The anti-drugs agency called her "an active member of a drugs syndicate".