BJP needs to allay growing foot in mouth syndrome across party

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OP Dhankar.
In a bizarre solution to combat skewed gender ratio in the state, Haryana BJP leader, Om Prakash Dhankar, has kicked-off a massive controversy by saying that if voted to power his party will bring women from Bihar to ensure all men in the state get married. With his shocking statement Dhankar has invited unnecessary criticism for himself as well as the party which is eyeing to perform well in the upcoming Assembly polls in the state.

Haryana has one of the most skewed sex ratios in the country - 879 girls per 1000 boys - as per 2011 Census.

Haryana BJP leader’s 'Bihari wives' remark lands party in controversy

While addressing the Kisan Mahasammelan at Narwana on Friday, Dhankar who happens to be BJP's National Kisan Morcha president reportedly made the comment.

What OP Dhankar said: 

"Sushil Modi mera yaar hai, rishtey karwaenge to dhang se karwaenge, yaha waha se lena-dena chhurva denge (Sushil Modi is a good friend of mine, we will ensure a compatible match and do away with bringing brides from anywhere)," ANI quoted him saying on Friday.

"Main jab chunav kshetra main ghoom raha tha to har gao mi bata rahe the Bihar se la rahe hain (While touring my constituency during elections, we went to each house in the villages and said that brides will be brought from Bihar)," he added.

Dhankar draws criticism:

Women activists as well as people from Purvanchal region have expressed their anger and demanded an apology from Dhankar for his insensitive remark. Noted woman activist Kiran Bedi too called it shameful and termed it promotes human trafficking. But the BJP seems to be defending Dhankar.

BJP's bizarre defence:

Defending him, Bihar BJP leader Sushil Modi said that former's statement has been twisted by the media.

Dhankar's statement comes days after Goa PWD minister Sudin Dhavalikar's comment in which he demanded a ban on women going to pubs in short dresses and wearing bikinis.

Now, Dhankar's statement has revealed how BJP leaders too are joining the bandwagon of politicians making insensitive statements and later on blame media for twisting their statements. This has once again raised the ongoing debate that why no action is taken against politicians who make such cavalier statements and let their party as well as their people down? Why can't our political class self-regulate themselves and control their slipping tongues and prevent such references in their political discourse?

What must be done:

It has become a need of the hour for the political parties, specially the BJP - which is sitting at the Centre - to put a restraint at its leaders and avoid such controversies. It is high time for the parties to set precedents across the partyline by penalising such leaders that inappropriate remarks and statements are not welcomed in the party. This will set the message straight that everyone has to follow certain code of conduct.

If BJP wants to outperform the ruling Congress in the Assembly elections scheduled to take place in October, it must understand that such statements will only dent the party's image and dampen its chances of faring well in Haryana legislative polls.

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