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MNS, NCP, Congress call BJP MLA Ravan for anti-women remark

Mumbai | The opposition parties in Maharashtra Wednesday likened BJP legislator Ram Kadam to demon king Ravan for telling youngsters he would “kidnap” a girl they like even if she rejects their proposal.

The Ghatkopar MLA, who has expressed regret over his remarks, made the comments at a ‘dahi handi’ event in his suburban Ghatkopar assembly constituency Monday night. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena put up posters depicting Kadam as Ravan outside Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ residence and in Ghatkopar.

“The ‘dashing’ MLA, who proclaims himself to be compassionate, will abduct daughters. If he or his men do so, file a police complaint and also let us know. We will help you safeguard your daughters,” the Raj Thackeray-led party said in the posters.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik said the BJP’s “Ravan-like” face is out and its legislator will be called “Ravan Kadam” till he apologises. “Expressing regret and apologising are very different things. The NCP will keep protesting against him and call him ‘Ravan Kadam’ till he apologises. State-wide protests will be held against him till he apologises,” the opposition leader said.

Women members of the Indian Youth Congress burnt Kadam’s effigy and also thrashed it with footwear in Indapur town of Maharashtra’s Pune district.

Labelling the MLA “Ravan Kadam”, they demanded that the chief minister take action against the lawmaker. “We burnt his effigy naming it as ‘Ravan Kadam’. We are angered by his comments to the extent that we felt like beating him with chappals… the chief minister should take action against him,” one of the protesters, Pratiksha Jamdar, said.

The Youth Congress members staged the protest during the ongoing ‘Jan Sangharsh Yatra’, a public outreach programme of the party. Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan, former state minister Harshvardhan Patil and other leaders were also present during the protest. Kadam, who is heard making the comments in a video clip, has said his comments were distorted.

“I only repeated a sentence made by one of the persons standing in the crowd… It was not my sentence. The clip which has gone viral is only of 40 seconds. However, later I had said mothers, sisters and daughters in all households are ‘Lakshmi’ who need to be respected,” he said late Tuesday. “Yet, if I have hurt sentiments, I express regret,” the MLA said.

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