The National Commission For Protection of Child Rights issued notice to former Madhya Pradesh minister and Congress legislator Sajjan Singh Verma over his comments on minor girls on Wednesday. The rights body has requested Verma to ‘provide an explanation within two days giving reasons and justifying his intention for making such discriminatory statement.’
During a press conference, Verma said, “girls are capable of bearing children by the age of 15-17 years and there was no need to raise the legal age for marriage to 21, is Shivraj a doctor or a scientist. What is the logic behind this?.” Further accusing the BJP government in the state of failing to protect minor girls, he added, “Madhya Pradesh tops in the number of rapes against minors. Instead of taking strict action in such cases, the chief minister is playing politics full of hypocrisy.”
National Commission For Protection of Child Rights issues notice to Congress leader Sajjan Singh Verma, requesting him to "provide an explanation within 2 days giving reasons and justifying his intention for making such discriminatory statement against minor girls and law..." https://t.co/llPjYyQa40— ANI (@ANI) January 14, 2021
Drawing flak from the opposition, Verma’s comments caused an uproar following which BJP demanded an apology. To which the Congress said that the BJP was bent on making an issue out of nothing.
Verma's statement came in response to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s recent proposal of a national-level debate on parity in the legal age of marriage for both sexes.
Reacting to Verma's remarks, Madhya Pradesh BJP's media panelist Neha Bagga said the MLA had insulted daughters of India. "Did he forget that his party's president is a woman? Priyanka Gandhi is also a woman? I urge Sonia Gandhi to direct Verma to apologise in public and sack him from the party," she said.
On Monday, Chouhan sought a debate on whether a woman's current legal age for marriage (18 years) be raised at par with men (21 years), while launching the state government ‘Samman’ campaign. Linking the issue to various crimes against women, the chief minister said there was need to create a respectful and conducive environment for the women and children in society.