Bharatiya Janata Party’s Ghatkopar MLA Ram Kadam has purportedly promised to help “kidnap girls” who reject marriage proposals. A video showing Kadam making the controversial comments at a Dahi Handi event on Monday drew criticism from several quarters.

In the video, Kadam is heard saying, “Take down my number. If you call me and say, ‘sir, I proposed to this girl but she declined. Please help’. This [girls declining proposals] is wrong. Of course I will help. First bring your parents, if they say they like the girl, I will kidnap her and hand her over to you.”

Nationalist Congress Party MLA Jitendra Awad shared the video on Twitter and rebuked Kadam for his statement. “How can women in this country be safe if ruling party MLAs openly boast about kidnapping women?” Awad tweeted.

Kadam, however, claimed he was misquoted, News18 reported. “I said that children should consult their parents,” Kadam told the channel. “My statement has been misunderstood. This is a political conspiracy of the opposition to target me.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had also attended the event on Monday.