Haryana minister praises Kanda, says Geetika a ‘wrong servant’

Haryana Labour Minister Shivcharan Sharma was at the centre of a controversy when he described Geetika Sharma as a "servant" of his former ministerial colleague Gopal Kanda, who is the prime accused in her suicide case.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion of Kanda's birthday in Sirsa on Saturday, Sharma said, "Ye itna bada case nahi hai; Gopal ne galat naukar rakh liya tha (This is not such a big a case, Gopal had employed a wrong servant)."

Geetika was a former employee of MDLR airlines, owned by Kanda.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary of Haryana Prahlad Singh Gillankhera assured the gathering that Kanda's birthday was being celebrated inside the jail too and he will be among the people of Sirsa for his next birthday.

When contacted by The Indian Express, Sharma said, "I did not mean anything derogatory. I respect women. I realise that women have divine powers — be it Mata Lakshmiji, Mata Durgaji or Mata Saraswati. If any of my statements has hurt anybody's sentiments, I apologise for the same."

Singh, too, said that he did not mean what was being interpreted from his statement. "I went there on the invitation of the Kanda family. We were required for distributing free cycles to women at a function organised at Tara Baba Kutia. It is a religious place and the Kanda family holds such public welfare events every year on his birthday. I mentioned that God is supreme and then comes the judiciary. If the judiciary acquits Kanda, he will be out of jail and definitely among the people of Sirsa by his next birthday. I did not mean anything wrong, but if I have hurt anybody's sentiments, I apologise."

Reacting to Sharma's statements, INLD leader Ajay Singh Chautala, said, "While the state is witnessing series of rapes, gangrapes and sexual assaults on women, Congress leaders are busy glorifying Kanda, who is lodged in jail for harassing and driving his employee Geetika to suicide. It is utterly shameful the way Congress leaders have glorified Kanda on his birthday."

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