Actor-turned politician Hema Malini has stoked a controversy with her remarks that widows from Bengal and Bihar should not crowd Vrindavan, the holy city in Uttar Pradesh and home to thousands of destitute women.
"If they (widows) are not from here then there is no need for them to come here from other states. There are many famous temples in Bengal and Bihar too," where they can stay, the 65-year-old Lok Sabha BJP MP said.
On a visit to her parliamentary constituency Mathura, of which Vrindavan is a part, she said there are already 40,000 widows in Vrindavan and there was no room to accomodate more.
"There are 40,000 widows in Vrindavan. I think there is no more place in the city. A large population is coming from Bengal... that's not right. Why don't they stay in Bengal? There are nice temples there. The same is true for those from Bihar," she said.
The responsibility of looking after widows should be of states from where they hail, she said.
Malini, who won the Lok Sabha seat from Mathura in the recent elections with a big margin, said she would speak to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and others on the issue.