Paternity slur: Batul ready for DNA test
RANCHI: Jharkhand agriculture minister Satyanand Jha Batul on Sunday denied the allegation of a fathering a child of a para-teacher and offered himself for a DNA test to ascertain the paternity of the baby.
"It is a political conspiracy against me. My rivals are using her to malign me and end my political career by defaming me," said Batul while denying the allegation that he ever had any relation with the teacher from Jamtara district.
Soni Devi, the teacher, in a legal notice to the minister had claimed that they got married according to Hindu ritual on April 15, 1996, after the death of his first wife. She even claimed that she delivered the baby boy on May 27, 2008.
Reacting to the charges, the minister said, "I am ready to face any action and even accept her and the boy if she produces any document to justify her claim. I am even ready for a DNA test to bring out the truth. I know her for a long time but never had any relation with her."
Batul said she must be having some documents such as court marriage certificate, marriage proof or even some witness. "Let her produce it, I will accept her as my wife."
Soni, however, stood by her claim. "Our marriage took place in accordance with Hindu rituals in the presence of our friends and relatives. He cannot deny it. Before he became the MLA in the 2009 assembly election, he even demanded dowry. When I could not provide it, he tortured me and threw me out of his house," she said adding that since then she had been living with her parents.
The teacher claimed that whenever she or her family tried to meet the minister and requested him to accept the son, he threatened them of dire consequences.
"I don't earn enough to support my son but the minister is not ready to listen anything. So I sent him a legal notice in June and if he fails to accept the relation, I will move to court for my rights," said Soni.
The opposition has taken up the issue and are demanding the minister's resignation on moral rounds. "The minister should first resign and then give explanation to defend himself," said Congress spokesperson Sailesh Sinha. The Congress demand was supported by the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatanrik leader Pradeep Yadav.
Chief minister Arjun Munda said the Jamtara DM had been asked to inquire into the matter and submit a report.
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