Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti created a huge controversy on Monday by saying ‘beautiful women’ will be able to go out at midnight in the national capital provided the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government takes over the policing system.
“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. “We will provide a fully-secure Delhi…,” Bharti allegedly said during a special Delhi assembly session on women safety yesterday.
However, Bharti later clarified his comments on Twitter saying he only meant “beautiful women laden with jewelries can travel.”
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
Bharti’s comment invited sharp criticism from both Congress and the BJP.
“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.
“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,” said senior BJP leader Vijendra Gupta, who is an opposition leader in the Delhi assembly.
New Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal had also recently written letters to city’s police commissioner BS Bassi, asking him to submit reports on action taken by the state’s police regarding crimes against women.
A similar session on women safety is also being proposed to be held in the Lok Sabha by AAP.
The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which enjoys an overwhelming majority of 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly, has criticized the Centre over the brutal murder of a 19-year-old in a crowded Anand Parbat market of the capital last month.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had earlier urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assess the law and order situation of the capital personally every week by sparing a few hours since the Delhi Police was directly under his control.
Huge advertisements had been launched all over the capital across all media outlets that had Kejriwal urging the PM by referring to him respectfully as ‘Sir’. BJP’s Delhi cadre later retaliated to these ads by launching posters of its own, questioning AAP over its Rs 526 crores ad budget.