Uttarakhand BJP leader Yashpal Benam calls off daughter’s marriage to Muslim man after backlash from Hindutva outfits

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A BJP leader in Uttarakhand was forced to call off his daughter’s marriage to a Muslim man after facing severe backlash from right-wing Hindutva outfits.

Yashpal Benam, a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Uttarakhand unit, cancelled his daughter’s May 28 wedding to a Muslim man after his decision evoked ire and protests from Hindutva outfits like the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

Talking to newsmen, Yaspal Benam, who is the Pauri municipal chairman and a former MLA, said he has postponed his daughter’s wedding to a Muslim as he has to “listen to the public’s voice”.

Benam said he had fixed his daughter’s marriage to a Muslim man for her happiness but has cancelled it as he has to “listen to the voice of the public as well.”

Last week, a picture of the wedding invitation card surfaced on social media platforms and stirred a storm among certain circles with some labelling the Benam’s daughter’s wedding as another case of alleged “love jihad” and ironically, a BJP leader’s own offspring being a party to it.

Amid the ongoing debate and controversy over the contentious Bollywood film The Kerala Story, which claims to “expose” alleged cases of “love jihad” and forced conversion in Kerala, the news of a saffron-party leader marrying his daughter to a Muslim man evoked severe outrage from Hindutva outfit who staged protests and strongly opposed the match.

On Friday, supporters and workers of Hindutva groups, including the VHP, Bhairav Sena, and Bajrang Dal, staged a protest in Pauri city’s Jhanda Chawk and torched an effigy of Benam.

Dipak Gaud, working president of district VHP, told reporters that strongly oppose such marriages.

Monika Benam, the daughter of Yashpal Benam— a former BJP MLA and president of the Pauri Garhwal Nagal Palika—was set to be married to a Muslim man, Monis Ahmad, son of Raees Ahmad, on May 28 in Pauri City.

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