Under pressure from the opposition as well as ally Shiv Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Maharashtra government suspended BJP-backed independent legislator Prashant Paricharak for 1.5 years for making objectionable remarks on wives of army soldiers.
The state government further formed a 10-member committee comprising members of the state legislative council to probe the incident, give Paricharak a hearing and recommend final action against the legislator. Chairman of the upper house, Ram Raje Nimbalkar, will head the committee, which will include legislators from across parties.
Paricharak, a legislator from Solapur, had joked — during campaigning in local polls last month — that soldiers stationed at the border distribute sweets when their babies are born although they haven’t come home in a year, indirectly alleging their wives are unfaithful. He later apologised for his remarks.
BJP Minister Chandrakant Patil, also leader of the upper house, said, “Although the legislator apologised for his remarks through newspapers and other news media sources, his remarks were extremely objectionable. This kind of behaviour does not suit a member of the state legislature. We will give him a chance to express his stand by forming a panel to look into the issue. The panel can recommend either suspension, a warning, any other punishment or expulsion from the house.”
The high-power committee is expected to present its report before the monsoon session of the legislature begins.
The state legislative council could not function for the past three days due to demands for Paricharak’s expulsion.