The opposition parties, supported by Shiv Sena, have demanded the suspension of a BJP-supported legislator from the council for using derogatory language against wives of soldiers.
The legislative session started with the opposition criticising the BJP for backing MLC Prashant Paricharak’s speech where he said that army wives were unfaithful to soldiers.
Raising the issue, leader of the opposition in the council Dhananjay Munde said that it was an anti-national act. “The defence forces command a great deal of respect right from the poorest to the richest of men and here we have one legislator who has defamed them,” said Munde. “We will not allow any work to be conducted till action is taken on this issue,” he added.
He was supported by Congress MLC Bhai Jagtap who wanted chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to announce Paricharak’s suspension.
The Shiv Sena, which has been critical of the government for its silence on the issue, also supported the opponents. “Balasaheb Thackeray had greatest respect for the armed forces and had he been alive, he would have demanded a capital punishment for this man,” said Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe. The BJP members did not support the demand.
Paricharak has been at the receiving end after he made the remark during an election campaign speech in support of the BJP candidate in Solapur. He had said that soldiers’ wives have babies despite them being out on assignments for long periods of time. “A soldier gets a telegram from his wife stating that she has delivered a baby. He distributes sweets to his colleagues on the border and as his colleagues ask him the reason behind it, he tells them happily that his wife has given a birth to a baby boy but he had not been home for the whole of the last year. This is the level of politics that we have stooped to,” Paricharak had said. He was referring to the NCP leaders who were taking credit for water supply from Ujani dam in Solapur district.
Reacting to this, state council chairman Ramraje Nimbhalkar said that he would work out a compromise. “I have sought a clarification from the state government on this issue,” said Nimbhalkar.