Congress, BJP lock horns over tribal girl`s age
A war of words seems to be brewing between Madhya Pradesh`s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the main opposition Congress over the issue of marriage of an orphaned tribal girl in Tikamgarh district of the state.
Bhopal: A war of words seems to be brewing between Madhya Pradesh`s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the main opposition Congress over the issue of marriage of an orphaned tribal girl in Tikamgarh district of the state.
The controversy surrounds the girl`s age, with Congress claiming that she was a minor when she got married last month under the state government`s `kanyadaan` scheme, while the BJP said she was an adult at the time of her matrimony.
While Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh claimed that the girl`s school records stated that she was born in 1996, state BJP president Prabhat Jha maintained that she was born much earlier, citing an age certificate issued by a medical officer in the neighbouring Chhattarpur district.
Talking to a news agency, Singh countered saying the certificate had no meaning as the girl was married in Tikamgarh district and therefore her age certificate should have come from a doctor there.
"It is only because the doctor there refused to give a fake certificate that the BJP has got an age certificate from Chhattarpur," he alleged, claiming that the document was obtained through Minister of State for SC and ST Welfare Harishankar Khatik, who is in charge of Chhattarpur district.
"After the girl`s marriage was fixed, an invitation for the ceremony was given to Jha and Khatik," Singh claimed, adding Khatik should be dismissed for having participated in the wedding of a "minor".
Even as Singh has written to BJP president Nitin Gadkari to take action against Jha in the matter, the state BJP president dismissed the allegations as baseless, "since the girl`s age proof clearly certifies that she was not a minor".