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Show of solidarity by MPs to Aamir's campaign

— Photo:V. SUDERSHAN

Raising awareness:Actor Aamir Khan, flanked by BJP MP Shahnawaz Hussain (left) and Congress MP Sachin Pilot, briefing the media at the Parliament House, in New Delhi on Wednesday.

New Delhi: A visit by actor Aamir Khan to Parliament on Wednesday saw a rare show of solidarity by MPs from the ruling and Opposition parties despite a standoff on the 2G spectrum issue, as they joined him in raising awareness of malnutrition among infants.

“I am happy that all political parties are united on this basic issue and hopeful they will continue to remain so,” Mr. Khan said after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Flanked by Bharatiya Janata Party's Shahnawaz Hussain, Congress MP Sachin Pilot and others, the actor addressed journalists, announcing his support to the cause.

“I hope all the MPs will remain together on the issue of checking malnutrition.”

Mr. Khan, accompanied by lyricist Prasoon Joshi, also met Speaker Meira Kumar and Congress general-secretary Rahul Gandhi.

The MPs and staff members were excited about Mr. Khan's visit, and the security personnel had a tough time controlling his admirers as they jostled to shake hands with the actor who was visiting Parliament for the first time.

Mr. Khan said the campaign for promoting mother's milk for babies was bigger than even the ‘Incredible India' campaign that he was doing. He said most of the medical problems of infants were due to the fact that they did not get mother's milk soon after birth. “There is a need to spread awareness of how necessary mother's milk is for babies,” the actor said.

He said that MPs of various political parties, who started the “Alliance Against Malnutrition,” had approached him earlier. “I and Prasun joined their campaign today. The Prime Minister also welcomed our support,” the actor said.

He said that it was his maiden visit to Parliament and he felt “very proud” to be here. Mr. Joshi said he would write a song on the theme, “pehla doodh amrit (First milk is nectar)” to increase awareness on the issue. BJD MP Baijyant Panda, who is part of the group of young MPs promoting the campaign, said around 100 MPs were already members and 25 others joined it on Wednesday. — PTI

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