Senior Sena leader and spokesperson Neelam Gorhe took a dig at the MLA’s name, saying although he was named after Ram, he harboured evil thoughts like Ravana.
In a major embarrassment for the BJP and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s ‘beti bachao, beto padao’ programme,(Save the girl child) a party legislator’s comments on abducting girls for suitors has sparked off a major political issue in Maharashtra. The BJP MLA, Ram Kadam on Monday night had bragged to young men that he would kidnap a girld they like, is she their proposal, but had later expressed regrets over his remarks made at a “Dahi Handi” event in his Ghatkopar assembly constituency.
“A clip of mine was circulated by my rivals. It was twisted and used out of context but despite that, without giving any justification or clarification, I tender an apology to all mothers and sisters of Maharashtra whose sentiments I might have unknowingly hurt by my comments,” Kadam said in the video that he tweeted. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis maintained his silence on his party MLA’s misogynistic words. The opposition tore into the party, demanding Kadam’s ouster. Shiv Sena party president Uddhav Thackeray dared the CM to take strict action against the MLA, and urged political parties not to issue a ticket to him for future elections. “I am not aware if the BJP has launched a ‘Beti Bhagao’ campaign. But if anybody speaks this way about our sisters and daughters, we will not tolerate it,” he warned.
Senior Sena leader and spokesperson Neelam Gorhe took a dig at the MLA’s name, saying although he was named after Ram, he harboured evil thoughts like Ravana. Other parties, led by the Congress and the NCP, staged protests against Kadam.
State Congress president Ashok Chavan asked, “Has the BJP made him a legislator to kidnap women?” The party’s city chief, Sanjay Nirupam, demanded that Kadam be expelled from the BJP. “How can an MLA speak about kidnapping women and handing them to ‘lovelorn’ boys? His statement is extremely unfortunate and shameful. How can we expect the commoners to abide by laws and respect women when an MLA has the audacity to say something like this? Moreover, the fact that there is no action taken by the chief minister against Kadam is shocking. Ram Kadam’s statement clearly reflects what the party has in store for women,” said Nirupam.
NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the BJP’s “Ravana” face has emerged with this controversy. “He is talking about kidnapping women. So, henceforth, he should be called ‘Ravana Kadam’.”
The MNS put up posters depicting Kadam as Ravan outside Fadnavis’ residence in Malabar Hill and in Ghatkopar. “The ‘dashing’ MLA, who proclaims himself to be compassionate, will abduct daughters. If he or his men do so, file a police complaint and also let us know. We will help you safeguard your daughters,” read the posters.