Shiv Charan Sharma, the Minister for Labour and Employment who also said that the case in which Kanda has been booked is not "such a big" one, "This isn't such a big case. He(Kanda) appointed her (Geetika) as a servant by mistake," Sharma, a Congress leader,said referring to the Geetika suicide case while participating in jailed Kanda's birthday celebrations organised by his supporters here on December 29. Geetika was an employee of the now defunct MDLR airline owned by Kanda.
Kanda, a former Haryana home minister was being “glorified” as ‘Sher-e-Haryana’ by his supporters on his birthday on 29th December but currently Kanda is lodged in Tihar jail for allegedly pushing Geetika to suicide.
After drawing flak from opposition party INLD ,BJP and various quarters ie women's bodies , Congress leader and Haryana minister Shiv Charan Sharma later apologised for his remark.
BJP and women's organisation described the remark as insensitive, insulting and shameful. Geetika's brother Ankit demanded an apology from the minister.
As the remark sparked an outrage, Sharma, who holds labour portfolio, later apologised saying he had not said anything against the girl, who was like his “daughter” and he was misunderstood and the remark distorted.
“I haven’t said anything about the girl. All the government employees are servants only. I was misunderstood. If I have hurt anyone’s feelings I am apologising for it,” Sharma said.
Two Haryana ministers have stirred up controversy by defending their former ministerial colleague Gopal Goyal Kanda in the Geetika Sharma suicide case.
23-year-old Geetika was found dead on August 5 at her Ashok Vihar residence in northwest Delhi. In one of her suicide notes, the woman said she was ending her life due to "harassment" by Kanda and his aide Aruna Chaddha,a co-accused.
"His birthday is being celebrated in jail and in Delhi also. Gopal Kanda is always amongst us. He doesn't get afraid of anything. He doesn't fear anyone," Sharma said. Sharma later sought to downplay the controversy saying the Kanda case is in the court.
"I respect the court and court will decide whether he is a convict or not. If he has committed a crime, court will charge him otherwise he will be released. CBI is investigating the case. Within few days we will get the result of the investigation," he added.
Speaking at an event organised in Sirsa to celebrate Kanda's 47th birthday on December 29, state minister for labour and employment Shiv Charan Sharma said: "Kanda did not face any big case.
"He had got himself a servant by mistake and landed in trouble.""Gopal Kanda is always amongst us. He doesn't get afraid of anything. He doesn't fear anyone," Sharma reportedly said.
Another minister said:Rumours against Kanda will die down
Chief parliamentary secretary and Fatehabad MLA Prahlad Singh had expressed hope that the "rumours" against Kanda would soon die down.
"My brother is going through a rough patch. But he would be proved innocent and the rumours would end on their own," he said
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi slams Sharma
BJP's Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi slammed Sharma calling his remark unfortunate and warned that people's anger will rise because of such "insensitive" comments Congrress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said the party will talk to Sharma since he was not aware of the remark but stressed that political leaders should make comments very carefully.
"He is insulting the girl(Geetika) by calling him Kanda's servant. Question should be asked from him why the girl committed suicide," said National Commission for Women(NCW) Chief Mamata Sharma.
BJP's Smriti Irani said the remark was extremely condemnable, especially when the atmosphere was surcharged after the death of the 23-year old Delhi gang-rape victim.
Sharma had also said Kanda is a brave and honest person who has been falsely implicated by those who are jealous of
his "phenomenal" growth in life.