BJP MLA Sharma suspended for entire session over sexist remarks
Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA OP Sharma was on Thursday suspended from the Assembly for the entire Winter Session for using derogatory language against ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Alka Lamba. The Winter session ends on December 4.
Speaker Ram Niwas Goel also referred the matter to the Ethics Committee of the House for further probe as six women MLAs of the AAP, sporting black ribbons on their left arms, barged into the well of the House, demanding permanent suspension of Sharma and that he be “jailed”.
Sharma represents West Delhi’s Vishwas Nagar Assembly constituency. Two days ago, addressing Lamba, Sharma had said: “Ye toh Raat Bhar ghumne wali (She roams the entire night)”.
Also sporting a black ribbon on her left arm, Lamba said Sharma must be jailed for the obscene remarks he made against her. “We will not budge from our demand. He must be sent to jail and disqualified,” Lamba said.
Her view was echoed by other five women legislators of the party. Her colleague Rakhi Birla said: “Narrow-minded people like Sharma should not be in the state Assembly but in jail”.
The legislators gathered near the speaker’s podium. The Speaker had to adjourn the House twice as the uproar continued.
The resolution to suspend Sharma, one of the three BJP MLAs in the House, was moved by Najafgarh legislator Kailash Gahlot, while the one on the Ethics Committee by Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra, AAP’s Karawal Nagar MLA.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia urged the MLAs to withdraw their protest. However, they did not relent. He had earlier demanded the BJP to suspend Sharma.
The nine-member Ethics Committee oversees the moral and ethical conduct of a member and examines complaints relating to unethical conduct referred to it by the House or the Speaker.
It has been tasked with submitting a report before the commencement of the next session of the 70-member legislature.
Meanwhile, two other BJP members in the House – Vijender Gupta and Jagdish Pradhan – walked out in protest against Goel’s decision to reject their privilege motion alleging that AAP legislators tried to attack Sharma in the Assembly.
On November 24, Sharma has used derogatory language against Chandani Chowk MLA Alka Lamba in the Assembly during a discussion on night shelters, which led to his suspension till on Thursday.
On Tuesday, AAP party workers staged a protest outside the MLA’s house with regard to his derogatory remarks against Lamba. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had also expressed shock over the comments made by Sharma and hoped that the BJP would take action against him.
Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party have in recent times found themselves embroiled in some controversy or the other. On October 22, a local BJP leader in Daman was suspended from the party for allegedly assaulting a woman councillor.