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Oct 22, 2012 at 08:14pm IST

BSP MLA retracts statement, says everyone needs mobile phones

New Delhi: Yet another bizarre comment and yet another U-turn by an Indian politician. Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) leader Rajpal Saini, after claiming earlier in the day that girls did not need mobile phones, later retracted his statement saying he had been misquoted.

"I saw on TV channels news being telecast in my name that I said that girls should not be given mobile phones. I have not given such a statement. It is not possible for a human being to not keep mobile phones these days," said Saini.

Just hours ago, Saini had said that mobile phones distracted women and they had no need for it. "There is no need to give phones to women and children. It distracts them and is useless. Why do women need phones? My mother, wife and sister never had mobile phones. They survived without one," Saini had said.

The BSP MLA was slammed from all sides, with the National Commission for Women (NCW) calling his statement distasteful. NCW CHairperson Mamata Sharma said, "What is the difference between boys and girls. On one hand we talk about women empowerment and on the other, such comments are made. We have made great advancements in technology. Why can't boys and girls benefit from it?"

SP leader Kamal Farooqi said, "It is unfortunate that such a statement is coming from an MP. He doesn't understand how technology has revolutionised the whole thing and especially women folk. It is important that they stay in touch with their loved ones and close relations."

In a Taliban-type diktat, a Khap panchayat in Baghpat in July, 2012 had also banned love marriages and barred women below 40 years from going out for shopping and using mobile phones. Meanwhile, a Khap leader recently had asked youngsters to refrain from eating junk food like chowmein.

The bizarre statement was made by Jitender Chhataar who said that men experience hormonal imbalances when they eat chowmein, momos and then they commit rape. In a shocking reaction to the recent spate of rape cases in Haryana, Khap panchayat members earlier blamed girls for such incidents.

One Khap Panchyat member gave a bizarre solution and suggested that the marriageable age for girls should be reduced to 16 years. When asked why rapes are occuring at this scale in Haryana, Sube Singh said that movies and television are to be blamed for rapes. "I believe this is happening because our youth are being badly influenced by cinema and television. I think that girls should be married at the age of 16, so that they have their husbands for their sexual needs, and they don't need to go elsewhere. This way rapes will not occur," commented Singh.

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