The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's (JMM) working president Hemant Soren has stoked a huge controversy after he alleged that people wearing saffron robes were robbing women of honour with the BJP hitting back with a complaint with the Election Commission.
Addressing an election rally in Pakur constituency on Wednesday, the former chief minister further alleged that "a rapist in Uttar Pradesh is resting in hospital while his victim is in jail". "Nowadays, women are being set on fire. I got the information that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi (Adityanath) ji has been making rounds here (in Santhal Pargana)," Soren said.
A video footage of Soren's purported speech at the Pakur rally is shown on TV channels and the BJP also gave a pendrive containing his speech to the EC. Soren added, "ye woh log hain, Bhajpa ke log, jo sadi kam karte hain lekin gerua vastra pehan kar bahu-betiyon ki izzat lutne ka kaam karte hain. (These are BJP people who seldom marry but wearing saffron robes rob the honour of women). "Do you want to vote for such people," Soren asked the people while appealing to vote for the JMM/Congress/RJD alliance in the fifth and final phase of polling on December 20.
Soon after Sorens speech, the Jharkhand unit of the BJP in Ranchi lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, demanding action against Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Soren in connection with the 'hurtful' comments on Hindu religion by the JMM leader. In its letter, the BJP alleged that Sorens "inciting" speech hurt the sentiments of not only people of Jharkhand but crores of Hindus in the country.
"Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi (Vadra), who was on stage had neither prevented Soren from making the controversial speech nor condemned it publicly," it said and urged the Chief Electoral Officer to book them in treason case and punish them, "so that no other leader from Congress or JMM will speak such hurtful words on religion in future". Priyanka Vadra had addressed the rally after Soren in Pakur. Efforts to get comment from Soren and the poll panel on the issue did not yield any result.