Gotra marriages: INLD accuses Hooda of doublespeak

Chandigarh: Accusing Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda of doublespeak on the same gotra (clan) marriage issue, main opposition Indian National Lok Dal on Saturday asked him to clarify his stand on the matter.

"The Chief Minister must clarify his and his Congress party's stand on the matter. He is indulging in doublespeak on the same gotra marriage issue," INLD Secretary General Ajay Singh Chautala said.

"He (Hooda) is saying marriages within the same gotra are not appropriate but, on the other hand, he is maintaining silence on the issue of amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act," the INLD MLA from Dabwali said.

He said if Hooda was serious on the matter, he should immediately accept INLD's demand and convene a special session of the legislative assembly for amending the Hindu Marriage Act.

"Hooda should also put pressure on the UPA government at the Centre to facilitate amendment in the Act as early as possible to protect our age-old customs and traditions," he said.

The INLD is backing the demand of Khap panchayats or caste councils for amending the Hindu Marriage Act to prohibit wedlocks within the same gotra.

Talking to reporters at Manesar yesterday, Hooda toed the line of Khap panchayats saying he was against marriages in the same gotra.

"Not allowing marriage in the same gotra is part of our customs. It is not limited to any particular caste," he had said.

Speaking at Rohtak on Thursday, Hooda said "marriages within the same gotra are not appropriate."

He, however, asked the self-styled community councils to act in accordance with the law of the land to prohibit such wedlocks.

After the diktats of Khap panchayats against couples who had married in the same gotra sparked an outrage, Hooda had said no one would be allowed to take the law into their hands.

Hooda's young party colleague and MP from Kurukshetra Navin Jindal had attended a Khap congregation at Kaithal last month and promised to take up their demand for an amendment in the Hindu Marriage Act with the party high command.