"Girls Can Reproduce At 15, Why Raise Age For Marriage": Congress Leader

"Girls Can Reproduce At 15, Why Raise Age For Marriage": Congress Leader

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Sajjan Singh Verma said "Girls should go to their 'sasural' and be happy after they turn 18".

The Madhya Pradesh Congress landed in controversy today after a former minister's regressive 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 and Kamal Nath loyalist -- had questioned, setting off BJP demands for an apology and his sacking from the party.

But the Congress tried to brush off the matter, with state Congress spokesman Bhupendra Gupta claiming the BJP "wanted to make an issue out of nothing".

The issue unfolded 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 currently allowed to get married at 18, three years earlier than the 21-year minimum age limit for men. The Chief Minister had contended that the minimum age for women should also be made 21 years.

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