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Somnath Bharti is an over exuberant anti-corruption crusader and not a molester or common criminal
Somnath Bharti, the first time MLA and Delhi’s Law Minister is under attack from BJP and Congress Parties, the National Council for Women (NCW), Delhi Council for Women (DCW), lawyers, intelligentsia and parts of the media which are pro Modi and pro BJP.

The hullabaloo is over an alleged run in with the police where he wanted them to raid some premises allegedly being used for prostitution and drug peddling. This was subsequently followed up by a vigilante raid by locals of Khirki Extension of Malviya Nagar which seven Ugandan women allege was led by Somnath Bharti. The BJP has promised to continue agitation till Bharti steps down.

Somnath Bharti has been accused on three counts; misuse of his official position, misbehaviour or abuse towards women and making racist attacks. Let us examine them one by one.

Misuse of Official Position

What did Somnath Bharti really do? He tried to persuade the SP of Malviyanagar to raid the premises which locals claimed were being used for drug peddling and prostitution.  He was only trying to use his position to stop criminal activity. He was not doing it for personal gain or to provide financial benefit to any kin, friend or party politician.

If misusing official position was really an offence, it would be difficult to find many official or politician who are not guilty of it. Instances of misusing official position by our honourable ministers and bureaucrats are so common and numerous that they would fill thousands of pages. I will give four.

When Praful Patel was minister for civil aviation, an airline flight was diverted to carry an IPL team to Chandigarh or some such place because his daughter was as manager in the IPL organization and wanted an aircraft to take the team there. The regular passengers were inconvenienced and the airline lost money. Media and political parties remained largely silent. There was no FIR and no investigation.

When Dayanidhi Maran was Minister for Communication, he got BSNL to set up a telephone exchange for his company and swindled hundreds of crores of rupees. The matter came to light when a BSNL officer blew the whistle after retirement. There has been no agitation by the Congress, BJP, Media or the intelligentsia for bringing Maran to book. The case has been forgotten by the media.

As per a report in Times of India, Chennai edition of January 24, 2014, the Supreme Court held the permission given to a private company to sell 40 acres of agricultural land acquired for setting up a private oil refining company in Kutch to another private company for profit as illegal and cast aspersion on the Revenue Minister of Gujrat Government for pressurizing the collector of Kutch to permit the sale. Supreme Court’s order was based on a PIL file by a Congress MLA. BJP, the media and even the Congress are totally silent about it. Perhaps they all believe in the adage “If you live in a glass house, do not throw stone at others”.

The Home Minister of Gujarat ordered 24x7 surveillance of a young woman while in Gujarat and outside by the Gujarat Police, CID, anti terrorism squad. The surveillance was speculated to be on orders of Narendra Modi. The woman was not a criminal nor alleged to be a terrorist. Is such surveillance permitted by law? Who footed the bill?

Misbehaviour or Abuse of Women


Seven women of African women have filed FIRs against Somnath Bharti. Bharti denies doing any wrong and claims that the allegations are false. The incident took place in front of a large gathering and has most probably been video graphed.  So why not wait for the inquiry. In any case there is no allegation of any physical contact between Bharti and the women.

The interest shown in the case by NCW and DCW appears to be motivated by extraneous pressures from BJP and Congress. How else would you explain the inaction of the same august body to the rape and setting on fire of a woman in a dowry harassment case and other ever increasing cases of gang rape in West Bengal and other states?

The DCW is going to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to remove Bharti. It did not go to the Lieutenant Governor asking him to take action against the police for not taking immediate action against the accused in the gang rape and attempted murder case and not providing protection to the woman who had asked for it. Is Bharti’s misconduct more heinous than ignoring rape and attempted murder and not providing protection to a girl in mortal danger?

Making a Racist Attack

Somnath Bharti may have used racist and uncomplimentary language against the women. If he has, he did wrong and must immediately apologise for the same. However, video recording of the incident must be available and used to get at the truth.

Conclusion

Somnath Bharti is a bit of a loose cannon and needs to keep his temper and language in check. But that does not make him a molester of women or a rapist or a common criminal. He is at the frontline of the conflict between AAP and Delhi Police. And as many unfortunate victims know, the police are masters at framing innocent people. Whatever Bharti did, he did in good faith for prevention of crime and on the request of the inhabitants of Khirki Extension.

Our honourable Prime Minister has submitted that the coal field allocations done by his ministry and under investigation by CBI were done in good faith and that he should not be held responsible for the Coalgate Scam. If the Congress is ready to accept that logic, why can’t they accept that Bharti acted in good faith and not for personal gain and order the case to be closed?

As far of BJP’s agitation for removing Bharti is concerned, we need not worry too much about it. There are many Congress ministers whose resignation BJP have agitated for and brought parliament to a standstill. The real reason for BJP and Congress gunning for the AAP is that they are worried that AAPs foray into the Lok Sabha elections could cost them vital seats and shatter their dream of forming the next government. The tension is getting to regional parties as well. Shiv Sena and Trinumul Congress leaders are also attacking AAP.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Vibhav Kant Upadhyay
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