Social media has been abuzz with BJP National Spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi’s comment on Delhi Violence. On Wednesday, Lekhi charged at the Opposition for making false allegations regarding the Home Ministry’s complicity in the inaction of Delhi Police, during the four-day violence in northeast Delhi.
My speech on Delhi riots, Today in the Parliament https://t.co/t6ksvPOnvO— Meenakashi Lekhi (@M_Lekhi) March 11, 2020
This is not the first time that the firebrand leader has been in the news. Previously, Lekhi has garnered attention for her views on various issues of national importance, be it the POSH(Problem of Sexual Harassment at Workplace)act or Triple Talaq.
An LLB graduate from Delhi University, Lekhi first came into the limelight in 2014 when she won the high-profile New Delhi parliamentary constituency as a BJP candidate; she was re-elected in 2016. In July 2016, she was appointed as the Chairperson of the Committee on Privileges of the Lok Sabha.
Later, in July 2019, she was made the Chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings, and continues to hold that position. Lekhi, who has been a lawyer at Supreme Court and Delhi High Court, has been associated with the drafting committees of the Women’s Reservation Bill and Problem of Sexual Harassment at Workplace bill.
Well-versed in both Hindi and English, she speaks articulately and often contributes to journals, periodicals, and newspapers. In 2017, Lekhi was honoured with the Lokmat Parliamentary Award as "Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian."
Here are some instances when she made ‘news’ for her ‘views’:
When she called out the opposition for their allegations on Delhi Violence
On Wednesday, when the opposition charged at the Home Ministry for not containing the Delhi violence, Lekhi not only defended her party but also applauded the government’s efforts to stop the violence in 36 hours. As an explanation for the initial delay, she said, “"Some judges think police shouldn't act until protests turn violent... Under the circumstances, it is difficult to gauge when a peaceful protest will turn violent.”
The violence that started in northeast Delhi in the last week of February was a clash between those who were supporting the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), and those against it. More than 50 lives were lost, while over 200 people were injured.
When she criticised Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for his remarks on CAA
To a question about the CAA, Nadella was quoted as saying that what is happening in India is ‘sad.’ Reacting to his statement, she tweeted, ‘How literate need to be educated! Perfect example.’ She further went on to say - ‘Precise reason for CAA is to grant opportunities to persecuted minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan & Afghanistan. How about granting these opportunities to Syrian Muslims instead of Yezidis in the USA?
When she moved the Supreme Court against Rahul Gandhi
In April 2019, Lekhi moved the Supreme Court seeking contempt action against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for allegedly attributing his remarks on the Rafale verdict to the apex court. Her plea mentioned that Gandhi had wrongly attributed his personal remarks to the top court, and tried to create prejudice. Gandhi reportedly made a remark that ‘Supreme Court said chowkidar chor hai’ in the verdict. On the other hand, the Supreme Court had cleared corruption charges against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the Rafale deal.
When she spoke about Triple Talaq
Lekhi, 52, was in the news for her views on the controversial Triple Talaq Bill too. She hit out at the Opposition, calling them out for Muslim appeasement. “The country’s only religion is the Constitution. Whatever your religion is, it is inside your homes, outside, the Constitution works,” she had said.
Earlier, she had questioned if Triple Talaq was part of Quran, and had asserted that the issue was not about ‘he versus she’ but about human rights violation.
When she labelled a ‘Women’s Safety Survey’ as ‘fake’
Lekhi had openly labeled the Thomson Reuters India Women’s Safety survey 2018 – which named India as the most unsafe country in the world for women - as ‘fake’. She said that far worse cases happen abroad and that New York, instead of India’s capital, New Delhi, must be branded as the ‘rape capital’ of the world. This comment by Lekhi didn’t go down well with women activists and several others, who termed it as a ‘callous and insensitive approach.’