Delhi Assembly Suspends BJP MLA OP Sharma

31/03/2016 8:24 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - MARCH 30: BJP MLA OP Sharma during the Delhi Assembly Budget Session at Delhi Vidhan Sabha on March 30, 2016 in New Delhi, India. The Delhi Assembly today passed Rs. 46,600 crore tax free budget for 2016-17 with major focus on education, health and transport sectors, besides rationalisation of the VAT structure that will bring down prices of readymade garments, shoes and watches among others. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Cracking down on indiscipline, the Delhi Assembly on Thursday suspended BJP MLA OP Sharma from the House for the next two sessions for making "derogatory" remarks against AAP MLA Alka Lamba after he expressed "regret" over it to escape impending expulsion.

The Ethics Committee of the Delhi Assembly had yesterday "unanimously" recommended stripping Sharma of his membership for his remarks against Lamba five months back and being "unrepentant" about it. It had also called him a "habitual offender".

AAP MLA, Bhavna Gaur, a member of the Ethics Committee, today moved a proposal in the House seeking action against him, saying he did not show any regret over his comments.

Following a discussion over the proposal, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said he should be given one more chance to apologise for his remarks.

On his part, Sharma said, "My intention was not to hurt Lamba as she is like my sister, but if she felt offended I express regret over it".

After Sharma's comments, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia proposed that the BJP legislator should be suspended for two subsequent sessions as he has "not apologised but only expressed regret".

The proposal was passed by the Delhi Assembly by voice vote.

Participating in the discussion, BJP MLA Vijender Gupta accused the ruling party of harassing BJP legislators and said the Ethics Commitee comprised only AAP MLAs.

"They are murdering the democracy and cannot tolerate us.

We are not allowed to speak as we are not in majority," he said.

In November last year, Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel had suspended Sharma for rest of the Winter Session for using derogatory language against Lamba inside the House. Goel had also referred the matter to the Ethics Committee for further probe.

Sharma, who is no stranger to controversy, was last month caught on camera beating a CPI activist at Patiala House court complex when JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was being produced. Days later he was arrested for the assault but released on bail.

"From the proceedings of Nov 25, 2015 it is abundantly clear that Sharma used the words 'raat bhar ghumne wali' (woman who roams the whole night) in the most derogatory and defamatory sense against Lamba. It amounted to character assassination.

"He has shown neither remorse nor sign of learning from his past mistakes and is a habitual offender. The committee is left with no choice but to recommend expulsion of Om Prakash Sharma from the membership of the sixth legislative assembly of Delhi," the Ethics panel report had said.

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