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|June 22, 1998||
Coke, Pepsi banned in UP assembly
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
Legislators in Uttar Pradesh will no longer be able to sip Pepsi, Coke or other beverages produced by multinational US companies, at least within the premises of the state legislature.
In a unique order, UP assembly Speaker Kesri Nath Tripathi has banned the sale of such products inside the assembly's central hall restaurant.
Describing the move as a 'token against the US government's economic sanctions on India', the speaker told Rediff On The NeT ''This is the least we can do to convey our resentment.''
Following the ban, the consumption of soft drinks has come down, according to the manager of the government-run restaurant. ''The legislators do not seem to relish the local stuff,'' he added. He, however, did not disclose the figures. The daily soft drink consumption earlier was around 1200 bottles, sources said.
Reacting to the slump in sales, the speaker said, ''There are several very good Indian drinks in the market.''
Ironically, the ministers do not seem as keen on implementing the ban. They still prefer Pepsi, Coke or Mirinda. These beverages are freely available in every minister's chambers. So also in Chief Minister Kalyan Singh's special pantry, a stone's throw from the assembly.
Kalyan Singh is yet to make up his mind on whether or not to ban the sales of Pepsi and Coke in government offices.
However, taking cue from the speaker, state Bharatiya Janata Party chief Raj Nath Singh has banned MNC soft drinks in party offices.
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