Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan on Tuesday said the government should stand by the film industry and hit out at Bharatiya Janata Party member Ravi Kishan for asking the Centre to take strict action against those involved in drug trafficking in the entertainment industry. Bachchan said that those who earned their fame through the industry were now speaking ill of it.

On the second day of the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, Bachchan spoke in the Rajya Sabha about the online harassment of actors and celebrities. “Film industry is a source of employment for scores of people,” she said. “It has always come forward to help the government in its endeavors. Hence, I request you to support the industry...Just because of a few people, you cannot tarnish the whole industry. I am ashamed that yesterday one of our members in Lok Sabha, who is from the film industry, spoke against it. It is a shame.”

The veteran actor said that the entertainment industry was being “vilified on social media” and urged the government to tell people not to use words like “gutter” to describe it. Allegations of drug usage in Bollywood have surfaced after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The Narcotics Control Bureau has arrested actor Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty for their alleged role in procuring and administering drugs to Rajput.

Kishan, who is also a Bhojpuri actor, raised the drugs-related allegations in Lok Sabha on Monday. “We know the problem of drug trafficking and drug addiction is increasing,” he had said. “In this conspiracy, our neighbouring countries are involved... Drugs come to this country via China and Pakistan. Our film industry too is affected.”

Bachchan pointed out that actors in the industry were among the highest taxpayers of the country and said the government should support them.

‘No actionable inputs,’ says Centre

Later in the day, the Centre informed Lok Sabha that no “actionable inputs” have been received on any nexus between the film industry and drug traffickers, NDTV reported. Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy made the statement in response to a written question on whether the government has conducted a detailed inquiry into the matter.

“However, a case in this regard has been registered by Narcotic Control Bureau Mumbai zonal unit on August 28, 2020,” the minister added. “Till date, in this case 10 persons have been arrested. Drugs such as Ganja, Hashish, Tetrahydrocannabinol and Lysergic acid De-ethylamide have been seized in the operation.”