Even as the government tries hard to enforce wearing of helmets, a BJP MLA from Rajasthan advised bikers not to wear the life saving gear, arguing that it was uncomfortable, let criminals slip away and caused baldness.
To make matters worse, he chose the most unlikely platform to air his alternate views on the subject of wearing helmets—a road safety seminar organized by a government university.
Bhawani Singh Rajawat, BJP MLA from the Ladpura assembly constituency in Kota, was speaking at a road safety seminar organized by the Sardar Patel University for Police Security and Criminal Justice on Thursday.
Addressing the seminar, Rajawat said those who did not want to wear helmets were free to do so.
He also slammed the police for harassing people in the name of enforcing the helmet rule.
As Kota Additional SP (Traffic) Yadram Fasal cited figures of deaths caused due to accidents where the rider was not wearing a helmet, Rajawat interrupted him saying government made road safety regulations sitting in AC rooms and it was the people who had to bear the burden of helmets in this scorching heat.
“It was his personal opinion but of course everyone knows helmets are absolutely essential and save lives,” Fasal told The Indian Express.
He said almost everyone at the seminar and the audience disagreed with the minister on the matter.
Another BJP leader Sunita Vyas (Deputy Mayor, Kota) who was present on the occasion, said Rajawat was only opposed to wearing helmets in the narrow, congested lanes of the old Kota city.
Rajawat could not be reached for a comment despite repeated calls and text messages.
The opposition Congress condemned Rajawat’s remarks, calling them an example of “mental bankruptcy”.
“The BJP seems to be following a policy of compromising with security of citizens. They have already slashed taxes on tobacco products, relaxed the excise policy to encourage alcoholism and now with this statement by a MLA on helmets not being necessary just completes the circle,” Rajasthan Congress General Secretary Archana Sharma said.
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