BJP in soup after Jharkhand chief’s son marries minor

State unit president Tala Marandi’s  son married a minor girl - Sakshi Post

Ranchi: The Bharatiya Janata Party in Jharkhand faces an embarrassing situation because of state unit president Tala Marandi’s alleged role in the marriage of his son with a minor girl.

While the opposition Congress, JVM-P and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha are gunning for Marandi, the ruling party in the state is finding it tough to defend the indefensible. Several BJP leaders have now started distancing the party from the controversy.

Tala, a tribal who hails from Santhal Pargana, was appointed as BJP state unit president in June with an aim to counter the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in the region. But things have got messy with Tala’s son Munna marrying a minor girl last month.

Union minister Sudarshan Bhagat said marriage to a minor girl is a serious issue. The matter is being looked by the BJP leadership, he said, adding that the party’s image has been hit due to this issue.
The matter is likely to rock the monsoon session of the Jharkhand Assembly scheduled to commence on July 22.

“Tala committed a blunder and has put the party in an embarrassing situation,” BJP MLA Ashoke Kumar said.

“Tribal tradition of marrying a minor has now given way to the law of the land. Tala should have known that,” he added.

BJP MP from Ranchi Ramtahal Chowdhary said the party would take a final decision on the issue. He said only a medical board can determine the correct age of the girl in question as it would be difficult to determine her age simply from the photographs.

It all started when Munna was accused of sexually exploiting a minor girl whom he had promised to marry. The girl filed a complaint with Godda court against Munna.

The 16-year-old also appeared before the State Commission for Women (SCW) alleging that she was exploited with false promise of marriage.
The Godda district court directed that an FIR be lodged against Munna in connection with the case. By that time Munna was scheduled to marry one Mamata Hansda, she refused to marry him over the complaint of sexual exploitation.

It was then Tala allegedly got Munna married to one Ritu Baski on June 27. As per school records, Ritu is just 11 years old.
The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights sought a report from Godda district administration and directed that an FIR be lodged if Munna indeed married the minor girl.

Later the Godda district administration filed a civil suit against Tala and Munna in connection with the issue. The lawsuit accuses the girl’s father too.
Meanwhile, opposition parties JMM, JVM-P and Congress have demanded impartial probe and action against the accused.


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