New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party leader and former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti is in the news again, this time for making controversial remarks on women.
Bharti said if the AAP government led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is granted control of the Delhi Police, then they would make sure "beautiful women" are able to go out even at midnight.
"I am fully confident that if Delhi government is given full freedom (over security), beautiful women will be able to go out even after midnight without any fear,” the AAP MLA said.
"We will provide a fully-secure Delhi..." he added.
Remarkably, the comments were made during a discussion on setting up of 'Commission of Inquiry' in the Delhi Assembly.
Bharti's comment evoked sharp reaction from both the opposition BJP and Congress.
"It is absolutely disgusting and derogatory towards women, but it is not surprising coming from someone who defied law even when he was law minister. It really shows his attitude," DPCC chief spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee said.
Senior BJP leader Vijendra Gupta, who is the opposition leader in the Delhi Assembly, said that it is a "highly objectionable remark".
"The remark shows what he thinks about women. It is highly objectionable remark of Bharti. He made a comment in presence of Chief Minister who did not stop him from using such words for women," Gupta said.
Bharti, today, clarified on his controversial remarks.
He told reporters: “When I was a child, my grandfather used to tell me that during the British rule, the security was so tight that beautiful women laden with jewellery could travel from Kanyakumari to Kashmir at midnight without being touched.”
“I've just used a proverb to set a benchmark for a secure environment where every woman should feel safe,” he added.
He also wrote on Twitter and Facebook:
I request media friends not to twist my statement: I have said "beautiful women laden with jewelries can travel... http://t.co/BaqxFRW7Hx
— Adv. Somnath Bharti (@attorneybharti) August 3, 2015
(With Agency inputs)