Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh on Saturday kicked up a controversy when he blamed "girlfriends, bikes and mobile phones" for the rising cases of road accidents in the state.
Speaking at a seminar on 'Road Safety' at a medical institute, he expressed concern over rising number of youths dying in road mishaps.
"If there is a good motorcycle, a good mobile and a good girlfriend then accidents are bound to happen," the chief minister said.
He said nearly 55-60% road accident victims are youth. "It's a common sight to see youngsters driving two-wheelers while talking on cellphones which often leads to accidents. Youths should avoid such habits," Singh said.
He lamented that while people are ready to spend thousands of rupees to buy motorcycles but are reluctant to purchase helmets which cost just a few hundred rupees.
Opposition Congress was quick to condemn Singh's remarks terming them as a ploy to divert attention from government's failure to curb road accidents.
Leader of Opposition in Assembly Ravindra Chaube said bad roads and corruption in transport department are main reasons for fatalities on road.