Former minister and Congress leader Sajjan Singh Verma sparked a massive controversy with his comment on a woman's minimum age for marriage. "When girls can reproduce at 15 years, why raise their marriageable age from 18 to 21 years," Sajjan Singh Verma, former PWD minister questioned.
The comment did not go well with the opposition who immediately demanded an apology from the leader. The Congress, however, claimed that the BJP "wanted to make an issue out of nothing".
The incident came occurred after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, while inaugurating "Samman", a fortnight-long public awareness drive about crimes against women, called for a national debate on raising the minimum age of marriage.
Women are allowed to get married at 18 at present. For men, the minimum age limit for marriage stands at 21 years.
MP Chief Minister had said that the minimum age for women should also be made 21 years, NDTV reported.
Arguing that women are able to reproduce at the age of 15 years, Verma said, "This is not my finding. As per doctors' report, girls are suitable for childbearing at 15 years of age. Owing to it only, a girl is considered mature enough for marriage at minimum 18 years of age."
"Girls should go to their 'sasural' (in-laws' home) and be happy after they turn 18," he added.
Commenting on CM Chouhan's remark, Verma asked, "Is he (Shivraj Singh Chouhan) a scientist or a great doctor that he is batting for increasing the minimum marriageable age for girls from 18 years to 21 years?."
Attacking the congress leader, BJP spokesperson Rahul Kothari said, "Sajjan Singh Verma has insulted all the daughters not only in Madhya Pradesh but across the country."
"It seems Verma has forgotten that the national president of his party Sonia Gandhi and the young national general secretary of his party Priyanka Gandhi Vadra are both women. I request the Congress national president Sonia Gandhi to ask Sajjan Singh Verma to publicly apologize to women and then fire him from the party," he added.