Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh defended Delhi minister Sandeep Kumar who was sacked over a sex tape controversy, saying the video showed “two adults with their consent indulging in sex”.
The remark could upset AAP leaders including party supremo Arvind Kejriwal who, while announcing Kumar’s removal on Twitter, said the party “stands for propriety in public life”.
Ashutosh, who goes only by one name, wrote in a blog post on NDTV.com: “…why should this sex video be discussed at all? Why should it be made public? Why should it be linked to the character of the man and the party? Why should it create headlines? What wrong has the man done?”
The social welfare and women and child development minister was sacked on Wednesday night over the alleged sex tape that showed the 35-year-old being intimate with two women.
“A political party which is in the business of perception management, which vouched for the character of its leaders while admitting them as members, had no other option than this,” the journalist-turned-politician wrote in his blog.
This was the only reference to the AAP’s action against Kumar in Ashutosh’s piece, which otherwise questioned the uproar over the issue. Phone calls by Hindustan Times to the AAP leader for a comment went unanswered.
The Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party have attacked the Kejriwal-led party over the alleged sex scandal.
“So whatever Sandeep Kumar has done in private, without inviting any complaints from his partner: should it create ripples in the media and in politics? This video exposes the hypocrisy of the society and hollowness of the media. How the video has been treated on air by certain TV channels informs us about the bankruptcy of some editors occupying high positions in the media industry,” Ashutosh wrote.
“Sex is a part of our basic instincts. Like eating, drinking and breathing, sex is also natural. But as society evolved, sex has become attached to the parameters of morality. In India, sex has been a taboo for a very long time; it is still trying to free itself,” he added.
The decision to remove Kumar from the Delhi Cabinet was taken at a high-level meeting attended by top AAP leaders on Wednesday night. “We are sorry we had this rotten fish. But I am proud we have not tolerated them,” Kejriwal said after sacking his minister.
Kumar defended himself, saying he resigned on his own and that he had been targeted because he was a “Dalit”.
In his blog post, Ashutosh also cited leaders including Jawaharlal Nehru and Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had “lived with their desires beyond social boundaries”.
“Indian history is full of examples of our leaders and heroes who had lived with their desires beyond social boundaries. Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru’s reported affairs with many female colleagues were juicy gossip but it didn’t spoil his political career,” he wrote.