Ramadoss asks West Bengal chief minister not to smoke

March 20th, 2008 - 3:22 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Anbumani Ramadoss

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) After taking on film stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss has now targeted West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for smoking in public. “About 70.2 percent of men in West Bengal smoke, including their chief minister,” Ramadoss told reporters at an event here Thursday.

When asked whether he has any word of advice for Bhattacharjee, the health minister said: “He is a senior person and I am a small individual.”

But the anti-tobacco crusader said Bhattacharjee needs no advice. “As a leader he should set an example for others to follow.”

Ramadoss’ remarks came a day after Bhattacharjee made it clear that he would continue to smoke in his office, despite a blanket ban on smoking at the state secretariat.

The health minister, who was honoured with an award last year by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for his anti-tobacco campaign, had earlier appealed to matinee idols Bachchan and Khan to stop smoking in movies.

Khan, however, rejected the appeal, saying cinema was all about creative freedom and it should not be curbed by censorship.

Ramadoss than hit back saying he should learn from actor Aamir Khan as “creative liberty should be used to improve society and not kill mankind”.

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