Alirajpur (MP): A Madhya Pradesh minister has landed at the centre of a controversy by stating that giving protection to girl students wanting to stay in hostels is the responsibility of their parents and not of the government.
In remarks that evoked sharp criticism, Tribal and Scheduled Caste Welfare Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah asked parents of girl students to give in writing that they will take care of their security only after which Government will consider building hostels for them.
"Girls might face problems if they stay alone. In view of this, girl students and their parents have to give in writing that they will take care of their security and then only the government will decide to build hostels for them as well," said, drawing sharp criticism.
"The government can give them hostels, but the girls and their parents have to arrange for their own security," the minister said while speaking on the concluding day of All India Vidyarthi Parishad`s state level scheduled tribe programme.
The government will bear hostel expenses, but the protection will be the responsibility of the girls and their parents, he said adding that the girls should return to their hostels by 8 PM.
Shah`s remarks came under fire with Sharad Yadav, JD(U) chief, saying the responsibility for providing security was squarely with the government and it cannot pass on the buck.
Madhya Pradesh PCC chief Kantilal Buria lashed out at the minister, saying the state government is answerable and cannot shirk its responsibility.
Girls in the state are being assaulted by mafias and goons and it was government`s duty to act against them, he said.
NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma also hit out at Shah, saying "I wonder if the job of political leaders ends after securing the votes of women. If providing security to girls is not the job of the government, then whose job it is?"
Shah joins a list of ministers in the BJP-ruled state who have been in the thick of controversies in recent months.
Health Minister Anoop Mishra resigned following allegations that some of his close relatives were involved in the killing of a youth over a land dispute near his home town Gwalior.
Cooperative Minister Gauri Shankar Bisen was caught by TV cameras getting his shoe laces allegedly tied by a boy at a public function.