Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren issued a show-cause notice to party MLA Simon Marandi today in connection with a "kissing competition" organised at a village fair, asking him to give a written reply within a week.
The JMM MLA from the Littipara constituency has been asked to respond in details on the "kissing competition" held in his presence at Jhumaria village in Pakur district in the Santhal pargana region on Saturday night.
Soren, a former chief minister of Jharkhand and JMM president, hails from the Santhal pargana region. Simon Marandi, along with party legislator Stephen Marandi, courted controversy by organising the "kissing competition" for tribal couples during a traditional village fair.
The BJP has made a scathing attack on its rival over the incident, demanding that the two legislators be suspended from the Assembly as they had "insulted" the local culture.
Simon Marandi, who was the organiser, argued that the "kissing competition" was organised to arrest the increasing number of divorce in the tribal society. Party MLA Stephen Marandi was also present in the fair.
A video of the "kissing competition" went viral on social media on Monday. In the video, tribal couples were seen locked in a kisswhile the crowd cheered.
BJP's Jharkhand unit vice president Hemlal Murmu demanded the suspension of Simon Marandi and Stephen Marandi from the state Assembly over the issue.
"JMM MLAs Simon Marandi and Stephen Marandi have insultedthe culture of Santhal Pargana in the name of 'Hul Mela' andorganised 'kissing competition'.
We demand their suspension from the House," Murmu said in Ranchi. It has never been a culture in the Santhal Pargana, hesaid, 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. Simon Marandi said the competition was organised among 20 pairs to strengthen the bond among married couples.
Claiming that nobody is trying to understand theSanthal society, Simon Marandi said the competition wasorganised to stop divorce. He said that Stephen Marandi had come only after thecompletion of the competition.