With the controversy over the “kissing competition” organised by two Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MLAs in Pakur's Dumaria village in Jharkhand gaining pace, the state government initiated a probe into the debated contest, as the ruling BJP accused the Christian leaders of the JMM of “conspiring to malign the tribal culture and custom”.
Following the order for probe, a two-member team comprising Pakur SDM and DSP visited Dumaria village and inquired villagers about the event.
JMM’s Littipara legislator Simon Marandi had organised the “kissing contest” in his native village Dumaria on Saturday evening. The contest was part of various other events during the two-day fair, Dumaria Mela, which he has been organising for the last 37 years.
At least 18 couples locked lips in the presence of hundreds of people. Marandi said the competition was held to stop the increasing number of divorce in the tribal society.
BJP's Jharkhand unit vice president Hemlal Murmu demanded suspension of Simon Marandi and Stephen Marandi from the state Assembly over the issue.
"JMM MLAs Simon Marandi and Stephen Marandi have insulted the culture of Santhal Pargana in the name of ‘Hul Mela’ and organised ‘kissing competition’. We demand their suspension from the House and not allowing them to attend the winter session starting tomorrow," state BJP Vice President Hemlal Murmu told reporters at Ranchi.
It has never been a culture in the Santhal Pargana, he said, adding, "This is an insult to women power."
Murmu demanded that the two MLAs tender an apology to the village heads, adding in Santhal Pargana a boy and a girl do not even shake hands.