Somnath Bharti’s wife alleges domestic abuse; AAP MLA says charges baseless, wants privacy

The Aam Aadmi Party’s troubles looked set to grow on Wednesday after its MLA and former minister Somnath Bharti’s wife filed a complaint of “domestic violence and mental torture” with the Delhi Commission for Women.

“(Bharti’s) wife said that the children were harassed in addition to her being beaten, we have called Somnath Bharti on 26 this month,” DCW chairperson Barkha Singh.

“I want separation, and to live with my children with dignity,” Bharti’s wife Lipika Mitra said on Wednesday. “I can’t explain in a couple of words, it’s been going on since 2010. I want out,” Mitra told news agency ANI.

“(Arvind) Kejriwal is answerable for such AAP leaders who are involved in unlawful activties,” BJP leader RP Singh said after the allegation of domestic abuse surfaced.

“Somnath Bharti should address the issue. We are not aware of the issue and Bharti is out of town,” an AAP spokesperson said about the issue.

Bharti, meanwhile, posted on Twitter that all allegations against him were baseless.

The fresh controversy hit the AAP a day after Delhi’s law minister Jitender Singh Tomar resigned over an alleged fake degree case. Tomar was arrested by Delhi Police on Tuesday and is currently in a four-day police remand.

Bharti was summoned by the DCW last year to depose before it over allegations of manhandling of Ugandan women by a group led by him during a midnight raid in south Delhi.

On January 15 last year, Bharti and AAP volunteers reached Khirki Extension and conducted a raid on houses of Nigerian and Ugandan nationals. Bharti claimed the raid had been conducted after he received information about a prostitution-and-drug racket in the area.

Bharti, who was embroiled in several other controversies, was not picked in the AAP government’s cabinet after Arvind Kejriwal stormed to power with an overwhelming mandate earlier this year.


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