Rajasthan poll promise: BJP will allow child marriage if elected

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Child Marriages in Rajasthan - Representation Image
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The campaigning for elections couldn’t get worse. The leaders all over are trying bizarre ways to woo the locals!

Over the recent years, we have seen and heard candidates, union ministers and other officials in power luring the voters with freebees or making poll promises which are not just impossible to deliver. But this time it has gone just too far with statements uttered that are strictly against the law of the land.

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In an outrageous incident, a BJP candidate from Rajasthan has openly promised to support ‘Child Marriages’ in her constituency, if voted to power. It may be shocking for most of us reading this, but Shobha Chauhan, who is contesting from the Sojat reserved seat on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket, has promised that she will ensure that the police does not interfere in child marriages if she wins.

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Shobha, is the wife of IAS officer Rajesh Chauhan, who is contesting for a second time. While campaigning, when she announced that once she is in power, the people of the area won’t face any harassment from the police over child marriage cases, the audience even applauded the BJP candidate’s shocking poll promise. Isn’t this encouraging and almost legally securing the misguided voters against the law?

The matter has been raised with the District collector of Pali, Sudhir Kumar Sharma. He has taken cognisance of the video in which Shobha is heard making the shocking promise to statement to the voters. The election commission officer of the district said the matter is being investigated and an action will be taken if the video is found to be genuine.

Child marriage is a big problem in Rajasthan but political leaders are clearly supporting the social evil for political gains. It remains to be seen how the saffron party will respond to the irresponsible statement from one of its candidates.  Rajasthan has recorded a 20% reduction in child marriages over the years, but it still ranks among the the top 12 states where prevalence of child marriages is extremely high according to a report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) in 2018.

While the election officials are investigating the matter, it will be interesting to note BJP’s official stand on this matter. Since this is a criminal offence, shouldn’t the said leader be arrested and her candidature cancelled by the EC? Will the Women and Child Welfare Ministry Union Minister, Maneka Gandhi, take a stern action on Chauhan?

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Shobha Chauhan – BJP Candidate

Further, the party who is currently ruling Rajasthan must necessarily strictly clarify their stance on allowing and backing the most regressive practice of ‘Child Marriages’ in the entire state.

This is not the first outlandish statement from a BJP Leader in Rajasthan. On Tuesday, while campaigning in Malakheda of Alwar district of Rajasthan, the UP CM said that Hanuman was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit. Adding further, he said that Bajrang Bali worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west.

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Rajasthan BJP

“This was his resolve as it was Lord Ram’s wish. Just like him, we should also not rest till we fulfil that wish,” he added. He also said that the people of the district would vote for ‘Ram bhakts’ and not ‘Ravana.’

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Yogi has been currently slammed by legal notices from his own Right-wing Hindutva groups, demanding his ban from attending any political rallies and using religion to divide people.

The people of the country need to decide whether they will fall for religion, caste and oppressive practices or vote for a party that promises progress, growth and opportunities.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. हा … ये तो सती प्रथा भी चालू कर देंगे …???

  2. Pic to sahi choose krte ye pic me bengali h.. rajsthani nhi or baal vivah phle se hi ban to fir q krwate ho baal vivah.. sahi se dekha jaye to galti isme janta ki h sarkar ki nhi..

  3. Dear Sir/Madam,

    In an election campaign that has hit several abysmal lows, where violations of the code of conduct have been rampant, the statement by the BJP candidate of Rajasthan, Shobha Chauhan that if elected, there would be no police hindrance to child marriages comes as a shocker. This is in violation of the national child policy, the national child marriage act, the UNCRC and against the principle of natural justice. It is said that the District Collector of Pali where the statement was made, has taken cognizance of this. The Election Commission office of the district has said the matter is only being investigated at the moment. It is unacceptable that child marriage which is one of the banes faced by Indian children, rampantly in states like Rajasthan, is actually promoted in the election campaign. The Election Commission and the National Commission for protection of Rights of Children have to immediately intervene and take necessary action at the earliest.

    Kavita Ratna,
    Director – Advocacy
    The Concerned for Working Children, Karnataka.

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