Attacking the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Madhya Pradesh over the alleged pregnancy test of 200 beneficiaries of a government scheme in Dindori district, the Opposition Congress accused it of undermining the dignity of women.
These women were brides-to-be for a mass marriage to be held under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Kanya Vivah Yojana’ on Saturday. Each woman gets a financial assistance of ₹51,000 under the scheme.
“In Dindori, the news of getting pregnancy tests done for more than 200 daughters has come to the fore in mass marriages to be conducted under Mukhyamantri Kanyadan [Kanya Vivaah is the exact name] Yojana. I want to know from the Chief Minister whether this news is true? If this news is true, then on whose orders was this gross insult done to the daughters of Madhya Pradesh? Do the daughters of the poor and tribal communities have no dignity in the eyes of the Chief Minister,” tweeted Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath on Sunday.
Mr. Nath also asked for a probe into the matter. “In the Shivraj government, Madhya Pradesh is already on top in the country, in terms of misbehaviour with women. I demand from the Chief Minister that a fair and high-level inquiry should be conducted into the entire matter and the guilty should be punished severely. This is not only a matter of pregnancy test, but also of a malicious attitude towards the entire female race,” he added.
Dindori District Collector Vikas Mishra told journalists that there was no directive from the district administration to conduct pregnancy test. “Directives were issued during the mass marriage event for detection of sickle cell ailment among those taking part,” he said.
“During medical examination, some brides spoke of period issues after which doctors at the site, took a decision to conduct pregnancy tests on those with such complaints,” he said, adding that four women, who were found to be pregnant, were not allowed to take part in the mass marriage.
Avadh Raj Bilaiya, BJP’s Dindori district president, claimed that the issue was being politicised and that medical tests did not compromise the Asmita (dignity) of women.
“There is no question of Asmita (self-respect/pride). The doctors are doing the tests… in the past, couples were found already married due to which such preventive steps are taken. Politics is being played. This scheme is for the marriage of poor women and such type of politicisation should be avoided. Our mission is very clear, we want to help poor women. About 230 women got married and we all took part in the ceremony,” he told journalists.
“During medical examination, some brides spoke of period issues after which doctors at the site, took a decision to conduct pregnancy tests on those with such complaints”Vikas MishraDindori District Collector