Wife slams Bharti over comment

Former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti’s alleged sexist remark in the Delhi Assembly drew criticism from his wife and the new DCW chief Swati Maliwal, besides opposition parties.

“I am an average looking, maybe that’s why I was ill-treated by him,” Somnath Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra said, reacting to his comment in the Delhi Assembly on Tuesday.
Bharti’s remark was later expunged from the Assembly proceedings, according to the Delhi government.

Explaining his remark on Facebook, Bharti said, “I have said, ‘beautiful women laden with jewelries can travel at midnight fearlessly is the kind of benchmark one can measure security level at Delhi against, if AAP has police control’.”

“I have said beautiful women laden with jewelry can travel at midnight fearlessly as the kind of benchmark one can measure security level at Delhi against, if AAP has police control,” he later told reporters.

Mitra, who in June had accused the former law minister of prolonged domestic violence, said, “If security of only beautiful women is taken care of, then where people like us will go?”

His alleged sexist remark sprang up during the debate in the Assembly on setting up of Commission of Inquiry. The controversy surrounding Bharti’s alleged remark on Tuesday also evoked sharp reaction from both BJP and Congress.

Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said, “It is deeply insulting for women in Delhi. This reflects the AAP government’s views about women.” Congress’ Barkha Singh, who was chief of Delhi Commission for Women until last month, called his remark an insult on the “women community”.

Not intending to endorse the former minister’s comment, Swati Maliwal cautioned him to “watch out” before speaking about women. “Women should be respected. And unnecessary comments can be avoided in favour of women’s issues,” she said.

Maliwal, who was handpicked by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for the post, was present in the Delhi Assembly when Bharti spoke.
DH News Service

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