Mumbai, Sep 5 (IANS) A political furore erupted in Maharashtra on Wednesday after a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party legislator threatened to “abduct” girls and bring them to their spurned suitors.
The threat came on a public platform from BJP MLA Ram Kadam during a post-Gokulashtami celebration event in his Ghatkopar constituency when he addressed a large number of youth.
“You need anything, just come to me.. If you have proposed to a girl and she has rejected you, I will help you.. 100 per cent. Come to me with your parents and say that they approve of her. Then, I will catch her and bring her to you,” Kadam told the gathering, and publicly gave his phone number.
A video of the incident which went viral on Tuesday evening, sparked off a major row, but Kadam claimed he had been quoted out of context and the full video-clip was not shown.
“I had no intentions to hurt anybody’s sentiments, but if I have done so, I regret it. Certain opponents are behind this misunderstanding,” Kadam said in a late-night tweet on Tuesday.
Maharashtra State Women’s Commission Chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar took strong umbrage at the lawmaker’s statement and said he must exercise caution before making such irresponsible comments on women.
“Kadam has claimed that his statement was manipulated. Even if that is true, such utterances on womenfolk are unbecoming. He and all other public representatives must be extremely vigilant before speaking out such things,” Rahatkar said sternly.
In a sharp reaction, State Congress President Ashok Chavan said on one hand the BJP speaks of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ and on the other its legislators speak of abducting women.
“Has the BJP made him a legislator to kidnap women…?” Chavan asked.
Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Nawab Malik said with this, “the BJP’s ‘Ravana’ face has emerged.
“He is talking about kidnapping women, so henceforth he should be called ‘Ravana Kadam’.”
Ruling ally Shiv Sena’s senior leader and spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said though Kadam is named after Ram he harbours evil thoughts like the Demon King Ravana and talks about abducting women.
State Samajwadi Party President Abu Asim Azmi hit out at the legislator by saying that “the BJP supports Kathua, Unnao rape accused,” and now its MLA’s speech was a clear indicator that its ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign is an eyewash.
“This is only a jumla. Now, the time has come for ‘BJP Bhagao, Beti Bachao’,” Azmi said on Wednesday.
The NCP Women’s Wing chief Chitra Wagh said this was unbecoming of a legislator and demanded an unconditional apology from Kadam, besides action against him by the BJP.
Education Minister Vinod Tawde said that he would convey sentiments to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, while a BJP leader said that the party was satisfied by Kadam’s explanation in the matter.