The row over a vibrating ring sold with condoms by a public sector firm intensified on Thursday with Opposition parties demanding its immediate ban.
A minister of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Madhya Pradesh also sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to stop its import.
Sharing the concerns voiced by saffron leaders over import of the 'sex toy' and its sale under the brand name 'Crezendo', state Congress general secretary Manak Agarwal demanded immediate ban on the product.
"The Madhya Pradesh government should impose a ban on its sale and the Centre must issue notice to Hindustan Latex Ltd, which is marketing the vibrating ring with its condom," the state Congress spokesman told PTI.
Equally vociferous in seeking a ban on Crezendo were the left parties.
"The vibrating ring should be withdrawn from the market forthwith as it is bound to have harmful effect, mainly on youngsters," state CPI-M secretary Bahadur Singh Dhakad said. "Condoms should always be used as a preventive measure for birth control. HLL should be served a notice."
Expressing similar worries, senior SPI leader Anand Prakash Pandey sought quick steps to stop its sale saying family planning and preventive measures do not seem to be its motto.
Even after HLL chairman and managing director M Ayappan's clarification that Crezendo was not meant for self-pleasure and his promise to withdraw its packing, state PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvergiya sent a letter to DrSingh asking him to convene an all party meeting to address the issue.
An all-party meeting should be convened so that the Centre and state governments can 'deal with the problem (of import and sale of sex toys)in a better way', Vijayvergiya said in his letter, copies of which were released to the media on Thursday.
"Iam hurt to know that nowadays your government is importing sex toys and selling it. A sex toy called vibrating ring was recently launched by HLL, a company under your government's health and family welfare department," he claimed.
Sincethe ring was imported from China, the role of the customs department was also questionable.
"Itseizes sex toys worth crores of rupees smuggled into the country," Vijayvergiya said.
Claimingthat the sex toy has been 'promoted in the form of condoms', he said 'the users guide in the sex toy advises men to use it directly without condom for self pleasure'.
"As per available statistics, a market of Rs 40,000crore exists in the world for sex toys. At a time when international sex toys manufacturers and suppliers would be eyeing the Indian market, where it is banned, it is a matter of regret that a company of your government, HLL, which was awarded the Miniratna, has fallen pray to it", he said.
Claimingthat open sale of sex toys has evoked strong reaction among social workers in Madhya Pradesh, the minister said the need of the hour was to rise above partisanship for larger benefit of the society.