BJP candidate, Sojat, Rajasthan
December 13, 2018:
Shobha Chauhan, who contested from Sojat, Rajasthan and promised to make child marriage easier, won with 54.24 percent votes in her favour.
As disappointing as it sounds, this is a timely opportunity for us to pressurise her to apologise for her statement. She now has the people’s mandate and we need to hold her accountable for the public statements she makes.
We need to act now as she takes charge in office. We need her to start with a progressive attitude towards the people and the state’s culture. Now is the perfect time to ask elected representative Shobha Chauhan to apologise for encouraging child marriage.
It is crucial for us to safeguard the progress we have made so far when it comes to doing away with the regressive practice of child marriage. Shobha Chauhan rallied for votes by supporting child marriage. That is not only morally wrong, but unacceptable from an elected official. We have no option but to call her out and urge her to retract her statement.
December 3, 2018:
Just yesterday, BJP candidate Shobha Chauhan from Sojat, Rajasthan promised her potential voters that she will make child marriage easier for them. Yes, you read that right.
“We have 'satta' [power] and 'sangathan' [state government] at our disposal. We won't let the police intervene in child marriages”.
Rajasthan has fought a hard battle against child marriage over many decades. These kind of public statements by political leaders are not only dangerous, but make it alright for child marriage to be practiced. Ask BJP candidate Shobha Chauhan to apologise for her statement supporting child marriage.
The people of Rajasthan have made long strides in getting rid of this regressive practice. Child marriage is illegal and punishable by The Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1929, which has been further upgraded by The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.
With so many laws in place to curb the practice of child marriage, this irresponsible statement from an election candidate is absolutely unacceptable.
If enough of us sign the petition, we can put pressure on Shobha Chauhan to retract her statement and make an apology. Rallying for votes under the banner of child marriage is wrong. We deserve better from our leaders.
The issue is real: According to a UNICEF report in 2018, child marriages in India had halved. Despite this, India has the highest number of child marriages in the world. Our children need proper nutrition, education and a childhood. We don’t need politicians wowing us with an incentive of child marriage. Let’s take action before the Rajasthan election on Dec 7 and leverage our citizen power on the candidate.
We can do this together.