New Delhi: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday stoked a controversy while making a reference to Kashmiri women. Referring to statements made by social media users after abrogation of Article 370, the chief minister said that people are saying that girls from Kashmir can be brought for marriage.
"Do you know that once Haryana was infamous as the state that killed daughters? But we started a campaign that led to improvement in gender ratio. Earlier, there were 1,000 males to 850 females. But due to our efforts, the number of girls born per 1,000 boys has increased to 933. This is a great change, and everyone would agree to it. (OP) Dhankar used to say that we will bring girls from Bihar to marry into Haryana. Now, people are saying that doors of Kashmir have been opened and we can get girls from there. Jokes apart, but only if we are able to maintain the ratio, there'll be balance in the society," Khattar said while speaking on the success of Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign in Haryana.
मुख्यमंत्री श्री @mlkhattar जी #बेटी_बचाओ_बेटी_पढ़ाओ अभियान की बात कर रहे है और लिंगानुपात कम होने के कारण उत्पन हुए समस्याओं को उदाहरण दे कर समझा रहे है।अब एजेंडे के नाते तोड़ मरोड़ कर बातें करने से पहले पूरा वीडियो सुने @ABPNews @subhashbrala @sureshbhattbjp pic.twitter.com/Czdn3ipUfd— Haryana BJP (@BJP4Haryana) August 10, 2019
He made the statement at a function of Maharishi Bhagirath Jayanti Samaroh in Fatehabad, adding that the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign has resulted in an improved sex ratio in the state.
Khattar's remarks drew flak from various quarters, with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi terming them "despicable".
Reacting to the criticism, Khattar accused the media of "running a misleading and factless campaign" against him and shared on Twitter a full video of the event.
"Daughters are our pride. The daughters of entire country are our daughters," Khattar tweeted while clarifying his position. He also attacked Gandhi and advised him not to react on "distorted news".
Khattar also got the backing of his party, which clarified that the chief minister was referring to the 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign and trying to highlight the problems caused by a skewed sex ratio. "The statement of the CM is being twisted under an agenda," said the Haryana BJP while sharing a video of the chief minister.
National Commission for Women chairperson Rekha Sharma said Khattar would be asked to explain his remarks.
"Why their imagination ends at women and their complexion and looks? How they open their big mouth and give these stupid remarks for women? Why people choose them to power? I certainly will ask for his explanation," she said in a tweet, without naming anyone.
The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) also recommended that an FIR be filed against Khattar and demanded an action-taken report from the Delhi Police's Crime Branch by September 14.
On August 7, a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district had said that party workers were excited over the scrapping of Article 370 as it would now enable them to marry ‘gori’ (fair) Kashmiri girls.
Vikram Saini made this misogynistic statement as he explained the benefits of the government’s move to end Jammu and Kashmir’s special status. He said bachelors in BJP were now welcome to go to Kashmir, buy plots of land and get married.
“If a woman from Kashmir got married to a man from Uttar Pradesh, her citizenship would be revoked. There was different citizenship for India and Kashmir,” Saini said addressing the crowd in Hindi. “The Muslim workers should celebrate here. Get married there to a fair Kashmiri girl. There should be celebrations. Everyone should celebrate - be it Hindu or Muslims. This is something the entire country should be celebrating.”
Later, asked about his statement, the MLA said that he had said nothing objectionable.
(With inputs from PTI)