Maharashtra BJP MLA offers to kidnap, hand over girls for marriage

Maharashtra BJP MLA Ram Kadam has drawn criticism after he told a crowd in Ghatkopar, Mumbai that he would “kidnap” girls that had rejected young men. In a video that was posted on Twitter by NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad, Kadam is seen saying, “You (youngsters) can meet me for any work”. Kadam told his audience that he had “even received requests for help from young men who were turned down by girls,” NDTV reported, adding that Kadam could be heard saying, “I will help, 100 per cent. Come (to me) with your parents. What will I do if parents approve? I will kidnap the girl concerned and hand her over to you (for marriage)”. Kadam reportedly also offered is number to the crowd. 

Ram Kadam

Kadam, made his controversial remarks at a dahi handi celebration on the night of Monday, September 3. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had also been in attendance at the event. Kadam later told news channels that his words were taken out of context, the Hindustan Times reported, saying that he said, “People deliberately took only those lines to defame me, but didn’t bother to show what I said before and after that sentence,” and that he “clarified that he was asking youths to always obey their parents.”  The Hindu reported that Kadam had also said, “If anyone is hurt by my statement, I extend my apology”.

Maharashtra’s Congress chief Ashok Chavan criticised Kadam’s comments, saying that “the BJP government had given the slogan of ‘Beti Bacho, Beti Padhao’ (Save Girls, Educate Girls), ‘but its own legislators are talking about ‘Beti Bhagao’ (kidnap girls). Girls now need to be protected from BJP politicians,’” as per the Hindustan Times.

Vijaya Rahatkar, president of the Maharashtra State Women’s Commission said, “The statements made by MLA Ram Kadam are controversial. He has claimed that his comments have been distorted. However, even if that is the case, one should not speak about women in this manner. Not just him, all elected representatives must have patience while they speak about women. They should speak thoughtfully and ensure that their comments do not hurt anybody’s sentiments,” as per The Hindu.

Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray also sharply criticised Kadam, calling for “not just an outright apology from him,” but also asking to know “from the Home Minister of Maharashtra what action will be taken for openly making such statements that threaten the safety of girls and offering safety to those wanting to kidnap them.”

PTI reported that Maharashtra’s NCP chief Jayant Patil said, “Cases should be filed against Kadam if a girl is kidnapped in Maharashtra as the MLA himself is encouraging their kidnapping,” adding, “He should apologise. I am sure women members of the assembly will pose questions to him”.



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