AAP MLA Somnath Bharti on Thursday responded to charges being levelled against him for calling a Sudarshan TV’s female anchor to engage in prostitution instead of doing propaganda driven journalism.
After Sudarshan TV released the edited video out, the AAP MLA had faced incessant criticism from journalists on social media. Also among those criticising Bharti was Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal.
Taking to Twitter, Maliwal had written, “I strongly condemn Somnath Bharti’s mysoginistic and shameful statements against a female reporter. I believe NOIDA Police has filed an FIR in the matter. Law shall now take its course. I strongly feel people in public life should control their anger!”
I strongly condemn Somnath Bharti's mysoginistic and shameful statements against a female reporter. I believe NOIDA Police has filed an FIR in the matter. Law shall now take its course. I strongly feel people in public life should control their anger!
— Swati Maliwal (@SwatiJaiHind) November 21, 2018
A day later, Bharti responded to Maliwal and others with an identical tweet. He wrote in Hindi, ” Swati Maliwal, you decided to issue your verdict without listening to my side of the story or verifying the authenticity of the 20 sec video. I am a small person, but if you raise your voice by seeking action against Modi ji so that Jashodaben ji and Mansi Soni get justice, then people will deem you a leader in fights on women’s rights.”
In a separate tweet, Bharti asked if ‘Mansi ji is even alive?’
Jashodaben is the estranged wife Prime Minister Narendra Modi while the Soni was allegedly snooped by Modi during his term as Gujarat chief minister. Rebel AAP MLA Kapil Mishra had sensationally broadcast the audio conversation of what he said was between a top IPS officer and Amit Shah (now BJP’s national president), who was heard ordering the cop to follow the movement of Soni. Mishra was widely hailed for his courage to play the ‘snoopgate’ audio inside the Delhi assembly.
Reacting to Bharti’s tweet, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Will someone in this country have the courage to get justice to these two women or everyone is scared of Modi ji?”
Will someone in this country have the courage to get justice to these two women or everyone is scared of Modi ji? https://t.co/SJL5yHfuv1
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) November 22, 2018
The controversy around Bharti started after a video of AAP MLA abusing a female anchor working for a pro-BJP channel, Sudarshan TV, went viral. In the video, Bharti was heard asking the anchor to stop bhadwagiri (brokering) and engage herself in prostitution instead. An FIR was later filed at a police station in Noida against him.
Bharti was invited to discuss the Tuesday’s attack on Kejriwal with chilli powders on the channel. The video going viral on social media platforms shows the AAP MLA from Malviyanagar taking exception to the anchor bringing his estranged him in the debate.
An enraged Bharti then attacked the anchor warning her that her bhadwagiri will not last beyond 2019 and the channel will cease to exist because of BJP’s ouster from the power.
The anchor responded, “You could not provide security to wife and you are talking about it now. If I become personal, I will rip apart your past through layers and you wouldn’t be able to show your face to anyone.” Bharti replied, “This bhadwagiri will not last long. Wait until 2019. And your owner will also be in the jail.”
A former woman employee of Sudarshan TV had accused the channel’s editor-in-chief Suresh Chavhanke of raping and molesting her besides indulging in criminal intimidation in 2016. He was later also arrested by the Uttar Pradesh Police for fanning communal tension in the state.
The anchor then sarcastically pointed out the AAP MLA’s manner and tone. This prompts Bharti to ask, “A CM has been attacked and you are talking in this fashion?” The anchor then shouts at Bharti and said, “You don’t have any manners. A person who can’t give respect to his wife has no right to talk like this.”
Bharti then lashed out at the anchor saying, “You don’t bring my wife into the debate here. You must apologise for the irresponsible behaviour displayed by you just now.”
The heated arguments continued for few more minutes when Bharti angrily asked the anchor to stop bhadwagiri before adding ‘Dhande pe baith jao (Do prostitution).’
So, MLA of Kejri Lok Pal Dal, @attorneybharti abuses woman anchor on air.
— Suresh Nakhua (@SureshNakhua) November 20, 2018
The woman anchor later threatened to drag him to the court, while accusing his party of selling Rajya Sabha tickets for money.
“People who sell Rajya Sabha tickets are speaking like this…People who sell tickets for money are talking about cleanliness,” the anchor continued.
Moments later, the channel invited BJP MLA from Delhi Om Prakash Sharma for his reaction. Sharma said that he was not surprised by Bharti’s language adding that he condemned the AAP MLA’s abusive reaction on Sudarshan TV.
When the female anchor asked him how he was going to help her in her legal fight, the MLA expressed his helplessness and disconnected the call. Later, the anchor was seen expressing her disappointment on the lack of help from the BJP MLA.
Faced with considerable outrage, Bharti tweeted, “Sincere appeal 2 .@SudarshanNewsTV is nt 2 use publicity stunts like these 4 gaining TRP.plz treat matters which concern our country n capital with utmost sincerity. By releasing 20 sec out of 7.33 min u hv again proven 2b BJP’s tool. No wonder AAP leaders refuse to give u byte!”
Sincere appeal 2 .@SudarshanNewsTV is nt 2 use publicity stunts like these 4 gaining TRP.plz treat matters which concern our country n capital with utmost sincerity. By releasing 20 sec out of 7.33 min u hv again proven 2b BJP's tool. No wonder AAP leaders refuse to give u byte!
— Adv. Somnath Bharti (@attorneybharti) November 20, 2018
Questions are being raised against the channel for not publishing the unedited video yet.