Ranchi (Jharkhand): Controversy has erupted after senior Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and legislator Simon Marandi organised a "kissing competition" of tribal people.
Simon Marandi on Saturday night organised a kissing competition of tribal couples at Talpahari village, situated under his assembly constituency Littipara. The kissing competition was reported on Monday in local newspapers.
Three tribal couples were awarded as part of the competition.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Simon Marandi said: "The kissing competition was organised to promote love and modernity. Tribal people are hesitant. The hesitation of tribal couples will end by kissing openly in the competition."
He also said it would help in promoting understanding between couples and prevent divorces.
The programme was attended by hundreds of people.
JMM legislator and senior leader of the party Stephen Marandi was present at the competition.
The ruling BJP has sharply reacted to the event.
"What is the JMM trying to prove by organising such a competition. There are many ways that could be adopted to end the hesitation of the tribal people. Simon Marandi has tried to make a mockery of the tribal culture and tradition," Ramesh Pushkar, a senior BJP leader, told IANS.
He said: "One JMM legislator has asked for opening a bar in the Assembly and another legislator is organising a kissing competition."
JMM legislator Kunal Sarangi last week advocated opening a bar in the Assembly campus.