However, JMM MLA Simon Marandi, who was the organiser, said the "kissing competition" was held to stop the increasing number of divorce in the tribal society. Simon Marandi is JMM MLA from Littipara in Santhal Pargana. Party MLA Stephen Marandi was also present in the fair.
A video of the "kissing competition" during the fair in Jhumaria village in Santhal Pargana, around 400 km from the state capital, went viral on social media today.
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In the video, tribal couples are seen locked in a kiss while the crowd cheered.
BJP's Jharkhand unit vice president Hemlal Murmu demanded suspension of Simon Marandi and Stephen Marandi from the state Assembly over the issue.
Jharkhand: Kissing contest organized for married couples at a Mela in Dumaria village of Pakur on 10th December. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha legislator Simon Marandi was also present at the event. pic.twitter.com/sCS8PeMoDw
— ANI (@ANI) December 12, 2017
"JMM MLAs Simon Marandi and Stephen Marandi have insulted the culture of Santhal Pargana in the name of Hul Mela and organised kissing competition . We demand their suspension from the House and not allowing them to attend the winter session starting tomorrow," state BJP Vice President Hemlal Murmu told reporters at Ranchi.
It has never been a culture in the Santhal Pargana, he said, adding, "This is an insult to women power."
Murmu demanded that the two MLAs tender an apology to the village heads, adding in Santhal Pargana a boy and a girl do not even shake hands.
Asked about the competition, Simon Marandi told PTI that the competition was organised among 20 pairs to strengthen the bond among married couples.
Claiming that nobody is trying to understand the Santhal society, Simon Marandi said the competition was organised to stop divorce.
He said that Stephen Marandi had come only after the completion of the competition.
Jharkhand rural development Minister and BJP leader Neel Kanth Singh Munda said at Dumka that it was an insult to the tribal society.
The minister also criticized Simon Marandi for giving away prize to the winners.