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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Bharti's attitude a serious problem: Ashutosh

PTI  New Delhi, February 13, 2014
First Published: 21:56 IST(13/2/2014) | Last Updated: 08:14 IST(14/2/2014)

Admitting that there was a "serious problem" with Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti's attitude, AAP leader Ashutosh today defended him, saying he has been told about it, and maintained that it would be wrong to call him racist.

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"There is a serious problem with Somanth Bharti's attitude. He does not know how to speak. He has been told so.

There has been a discussion about it in the party. But it is wrong to say he is racist," Ashutosh said.

"When Bharti used wrong language, we apologised for that publicly," he said, adding, "Bharti issue is being probed by LG."

Ashutosh said that if Bharti is found guilty in the probe, there are doubts that he would be allowed to stay in the party. He, however, maintained that there was no case registered against him and AAP was not running away or against any probe.

The AAP leader said that the drug cartel was trying to influence the case involving Ugandan women and said that they even tried to give it a "racial colour".

He also said that not a single person in AAP would be spared if found guilty.

"No case has been registered against them. But if an iota of evidence is found, the person may not even stay in the party, let alone stay in the government," he said.

Ashutosh was responding to questions during Panchayat Aajtak conclave, which was also attended by Union Minister Rajiv Shukla and BJP MP Syed Shahnawaz Hussain.

When asked about foriegn funding, Ashutosh said that if there is one sign of illegal foreign funding, the party will shut down.

"The allegations of foreign funding did not start today. It started in 2011. The matter went to the courts. There was no truth found in the matter. It was again brought back to the courts in a motivated manner and news were planted saying AAP does not want its books to come in front of the public. If there is one sign of illegal foreign funding, the party will be shut down," he said.

Attacking both BJP and Congress on corruption, Ashutosh said that both parties have leaders who are corrupt. He said that only AAP government is questioned on fulfilling its promises and not the new governments in Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.

Attacking AAP government in Delhi, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot said that the issues on which Congress gave support to AAP were not being addressed and the party was bringing up new issues "to stay in headlines".

"The issues on which our party supported AAP, which had made a lot of promises...that is not happening. We had said 'take up those issues and take our support for five years'. But those were forgotten and they come out with new issues. Be it right or wrong or will the people get benefited by it or not... it is not primary to them...," Pilot said.

The Union Minister, who participated in the Panchayat Aajtak conclave, denied speculations that Congress was trying to cut into BJP votes with the help of AAP.

On the recent loss in four states in the Assembly elections, Pilot, who was appointed the Rajasthan Congress chief, said his party accepted the loss, and whatever be the reason, the party has borne the political damage, and observed that inflation was one of the reasons for the loss in Rajasthan. Replying to a query, he said no minister can individually raise gas prices.

"There is a body, and prices are set after a discussion," he said. Pilot also asserted that the perception that all private players are dishonest is wrong. "We benefited due to the arrival of private companies. Look at the aviation sector," he said, while cautioning that "due process has to be followed".


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