36-Year old Dalit MLA marries 19-year-old temple priest’s daughter; priest attempts suicide

In Tamil Nadu, strife has emerged over the marriage of AIADMK Dalit MLA A. Prabhu and a 19-year-old student. The girl’s father S Swaminathan, who is a priest at a temple claimed that the 36-year-old MLA had seduced and married her daughter. He also imposed suicidal threats if the authorities did not interfere. 

According to media reports, the girl’s father tried to commit suicide by setting fire to the MLA’s house but he was taken into custody by the policemen before serving his purpose. A case of the suicide attempt has been registered against the father.

Father Swaminathan also said that he opposed the marriage not because of caste but because of the age difference between the bride and groom. The girl's father said that there is a 17-year difference between the two. He claimed that he has been "betrayed" and "threatened."

Prabhu, who is an MLA from Kallakurichi, Tamil Nadu, married his 19-year-old girlfriend Soundarya, who is a student of a private art college in Tiruchengode, on Monday. 

The MLA has shared a video along with his wife in which he said that they had been in a relationship for the past four months. He had sought permission from the girl's family for marriage but he refused.

A Prabhu told that he is hopeful of cordial relations with his in-laws in the future. During an interview, he said, "

"Till I was 30 I was busy with politics. After I was elected my family chose a bride for me but Amma (former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa) died and I was heartbroken and did not marry. But during the lockdown, I had close interaction with her (his wife) and we fell in love.” 

He further added, "I have known my wife's father for many years and we had close ties. He has even fed me with his own hands and prayed for my success. I feel some political forces have poisoned his mind against me."

Swaminathan has also claimed that the MLA tried abducted his daughter and married her forcefully. But that claim shattered when Soundarya shared a separate video saying that she was neither abducted nor threatened to be a part of the marriage. “I married him on my own. The wedding took place with my consent,” she clarified in the video. 

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