BJP’s O.P. Sharma expresses regret, suspended for two sessions

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New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) BJP legislator O.P. Sharma was on Thursday suspended for the next two sessions of the Delhi assembly after he refused to apologise to AAP member Alka Lamba but expressed “regret” for what he said.

The Delhi assembly’s Ethics Committee on Wednesday recommended Sharma’s expulsion, calling him a habitual offender.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urged Sharma to apologise for his misconduct to avoid expulsion.

Sharma didn’t apologise but said he regretted the “misunderstandings” caused by his “incomplete statement” of November 24, 2015 that offended Aam Aadmi Party legislator Alka Lamba and her party colleagues.

“I have no personal grudge against my younger sister Alka Lamba. That day, I was praising her social work. But I was interrupted and was not allowed to complete my sentence. Due to this, I was misunderstood,” Sharma said.

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He added: “If my words offended Alka Lamba or any other member, I regret that.”

After Sharma’s statement, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia proposed to suspend him instead of expelling him as suggested by the Ethics Committee.

“He (Sharma) did not apologise but he regrets the incident. So I propose to convert his expulsion into suspension for the next two sessions,” he told the assembly.

The proposal was accepted by AAP legislator Bhavna Gaur amid protests from Alka Lamba.

“I am personally unhappy and disappointed with this decision. He should have been expelled. I have not forgiven O.P. Sharma even though he called me his younger sister. Those were just hollow words. He didn’t mean them,” Alka Lamba told IANS.

The BJP leader in the house, Vijender Gupta, dubbed the Ethics Committee’s report biased and said it had ignored the conduct of AAP legislator who tried to attack Sharma that day.

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Sharma was in December fined Rs.18,560 for damaging a mike in the assembly. He was recently shown on TV beating up a CPI activist outside a court here.

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