Madhya Pradesh Congress takes minor marriage issue to Governor-Mahim Pratap Singh
“No response from CM to abetment complaints against BJP leader, minister”
The controversy over the involvement of Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party president Prabhat Jha and Tribal Affairs Minister Harishankar Khatik in the marriage of a minor girl from Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh does not seem to be dying down.
After writing to BJP national president Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Ajay Singh on Monday met Governor Ramnaresh Yadav here and submitted a memorandum, seeking Mr. Khatik's removal.The Congress has charged Mr. Jha and Mr. Khatik with abetting in and participating in the April 24 marriage of an orphaned girl from Taparian village in Tikamgarh district, knowing that she was a minor and the groom was already married to another woman.
Mr. Singh was accompanied by a woman, said to be the groom's first wife and, her parents.
“On the eve of Akshay Tritiya, the Chief Minister pretended to be very serious about preventing child marriages. Here's a case where his own party president and a minister of his own government have violated the law by getting a minor girl married, but there has been no response from him on the matter,” said Mr. Singh.
The BJP has refuted the allegations saying the girl was not a minor, citing a medical certificate issued by a doctor in Chhattarpur district.
However, the Congress has adduced her school leaving certificate “proving she was born in 1996” and argued that the doctor's certificate was not valid as it was not from her home district.
“It is only because doctors in Tikamgarh refused to give a fake certificate that the BJP arranged one from Chhattarpur district,” said Mr. Singh.