BJP MLA Ram Kadam tweets Sonali Bendre has died, later calls it rumour

MUMBAI: Four days after his controversial remarks on offering help to youngsters who want to elope and marry, BJP MLA from Ghatkopar, Ram Kadam, courted another row on Friday by tweeting that Bollywood actor Sonali Bendre has died.

He later deleted it and tweeted again, saying that it was a rumour.

On Friday afternoon, Kadam tweeted in Marathi about the actor's death in the US and offering prayers for her. Half-an-hour later, he deleted the tweet. "About Sonali Bendre ji It was rumour. Since last two days.. I pray to God for her good health and speedy recovery," he tweeted again.

Bendre is suffering from high-grade cancer and is currently undergoing treatment in New York.

On Monday, Kadam had said that he would help youngsters elope with girls they want to marry. On Thursday, he apologised on social media, stating that his remarks have been distorted by the political opponents and he was apologising to all mothers and sisters.

Senior BJP minister Chandrakant Patil came out in the MLA's support on Friday.

"Since he has apologised, the issue should end now. Kadam does not have a history of making controversial remarks about women. However, his history is of helping women and thousands of women in his constituency tie him rakhi for years."

The minister said that elected representatives must be careful about making statements. "The BJP state president will take a call on deciding if action would be taken against Kadam," he added.

The Shiv Sena, meanwhile, likened Kadam to Alauddin Khilji - the 13th century Sultan of Delhi. "Queen Padmini committed Jauhar (self-immolation) along with thousands of Rajput women to protect their honour, prestige and religion. Their Jauhar against Khilji and his rule continues to inspire women in India but has the time come to commit Jauhar for women in Maharashtra due to BJP's Khilji?" the Sena questioned in an editorial in party mouthpiece Saamana.

The editorial also raised questions on the silence of BJP leaders on the issue. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to give justice to Muslim women but the BJP legislator's remarks have caused sense of fear among women in Maharashtra." The BJP's sole woman Cabinet minister, Pankaja Munde, should speak on the issue, it added.


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