On Wednesday, Bharti seemed to be headed for trouble as the senior leadership of the Aam Aadmi Party pressed Kejriwal to act against him, after four African women assaulted in his midnight raid in Khirki Extension identified him as the leader of the mob.
A file photo of AAP leader and former Delhi law minister Somnath Bharti. (PTI Photo)
Sources in the party said there was tremendous pressure on Kejriwal to take action against Bharti from some senior AAP leaders, who were embarrassed by his recent crass comments.
Video: Abhay Deol speaks on AAP
“Some steps will be taken for sure,” a senior leader told HT. “There is no place for such uncouth and uncivilized language in the party.”
Prashant Bhushan, lawyer and AAP member, said, “Nobody will support his kind of language. This is not civilized language.”
“I have written to Kejriwal and told him the allegations against Bharti are serious and need to be taken very seriously,” another leader said.
Read: ‘Scared’ of Africans, Khirki Extension locals back Somnath Bharti
Asked if Bharti would be pulled up, AAP national secretary Pankaj Gupta said, “The onus of taking action lies with the Delhi government and as far as the party is concerned, we will come out with a statement on it soon.”
The four African women allegedly harassed by Bharti and his supporters have identified the minister and four other persons from video footage and newspaper clippings. They recorded their statements before a metropolitan magistrate Tuesday.
Read: Good people welcome in Delhi, not naked dancing: Somnath Bharti
In their complaint, they said they were slapped, molested, threatened and subjected to racist slurs. The police, who had registered a case against unidentified people, said they would now frame charges against Bharti.
Two days after his raid to bust a “sex and drug racket”, Bharti had gone back to Khirki Extension, near Malviya Nagar, on Sunday and said, “If there are good people, irrespective of their nationality… they will be welcomed. However, if they dance naked, sell drugs and run sex rackets, humse bura koi nahin hoga.”
On Tuesday, he followed it up by saying he’d spit on the faces of BJP leader Arun Jaitley and senior lawyer Harish Salve for being critical of him.
Read: Home minister Shinde calls Kejriwal a 'mad chief minister'
This despite his colleagues’ advice to him to stay quiet.
The government had so far firmly backed Bharti. One of its main demands during its two-day dharna was the suspension of the Malviya Nagar station house officer for alleged inaction.
On Wednesday, hindustantimes.com conducted a poll asking its readers - Should Somnath Bharti resign from Delhi cabinet?
Seventy per cent of the respondents answered in 'yes' that means nearly two-third of total no. of voters on this poll want Bharti to quit as law minister in Delhi. However, 27% respondents have said 'no', which means less than one-third of readers want to him to stay as minister.
Here is the details of poll result: