BJP MLA suspended from assembly over sexist remarks

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Nov 25, 2015 10:15 IST
BJP MLA Om Prakash Sharma during the winter session of Delhi Vidhan Sabha. Sharma was suspended for making sexist remarks about AAP legislator Alka Lamba. (HT Photo)

Bharatiya Janata Party MLA OP Sharma was suspended from the Delhi Assembly for two days for using ‘objectionable’ language against ruling Aam Aadmi Party legislator Alka Lamba during a discussion in the House on Monday.

Though the AAP legislators, especially the five women lawmakers, stuck to their demand to suspend the Vishwas Nagar MLA from the Assembly for the entire term of Assembly, Speaker Ram Niwas Goel said he had suspended Sharma till Thursday and was still considering the suggestion of deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia of sending the matter to the Ethics Committee.

The ruckus started when Sisodia was replying to the issue of night shelter and deaths of homeless raised by leader of opposition Vijender Gupta. The discussion turned into an argument when Gupta claimed almost 3,000 people had died from March to October and Sisodia alleged that during President’s rule, the contract to run night shelters was given to a security agency.

AAP MLA Alka Lamba, who had raised the issue on Monday as well, joined the argument. She said many people had not died of cold but due to drug abuse.

AAP MLA Alka Lamba during the winter session of Delhi Vidhan Sabha, in New Delhi, India, on Tuesday, November 24, 2015. (Sanjeev Verma/ HT Photo)

The three BJP legislators reacted sharply. Targetting Lamba, BJP legislator OP Sharma was heard saying “Ye toh Raat Bhar ghumne wali (She roams all night)”.

The AAP MLAs took strong objection to the remarks and the Speaker immediately suspended Sharma for two days. Not satisfied with the action, AAP MLAs entered the well and gheraoed the BJP MLAs. Even as the ruckus continued and woman legislators refused to leave the well, the proceedings were adjourned till Thursday.

“I have been observing the behaviour and language of OP Sharma for the past four days. But the language he used for a woman legislator is deplorable and beyond imagination. Despite warnings, OP Sharma did not mend his ways. I also advised the leader of opposition to rein in his colleague but in vain. OP Sharma stands suspended from the House till Thursday,” Goel told reporters, adding he would look into the suggestion of sending the matter to the Ethics Committee when the House resumes on Thursday.

AAP legislators Lamba and Rakhi Birla insisted they want the Speaker to “take an exemplary punishment against Sharma and they would continue their protest on the floor of the House if Sharma was allowed to attend the House on Friday”.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was not present in the House on Tuesday, expressed his shock over the comments and hoped that the BJP would take action against its lawmaker.

“Am shocked at language used by OP Sharma, BJP MLA, against a lady lawmaker. Two days back also, he abused a lady MLA. Hope BJP will act against him (sic.),” Kejriwal tweeted.

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