A happy family they were not. BSP leader Deepak Bhardwaj did not live with his wife and had problems with his children.
Distrust ran deep between him and others in the family,and,over the years,this developed into hatred.
But on one day every week,a semblance of normalcy returned to this dysfunctional family. Every Saturday,despite their differences,the Bhardwaj family sat in one room,around a table and dined together.
It was no different on the Saturday before his murder on March 26. By then,anger had reached its zenith and one of his sons had hired men to kill him,a police source said.
It was Ramesh Kumari,Bhardwajs wife,who insisted that one day in the week be kept aside for the family of four Bhardwaj,herself,and their sons Nitesh and Hitesh.
The family usually dined at Nitesh Kunj,the farmhouse where Bhardwaj was gunned down.
It was in the last four years that the family disintegrated,sources said.
Ramesh Kumari shifted to a small house on the premises of the Shiksha Bharati School,which the family runs in Dwarka. Hitesh went to live in Nav Sansad Apartments and Nitesh to another flat,both in Dwarka.
The family lived separately,despising Bhardwaj for the hardship he put them through with his flamboyant lifestyle and authoritarian ways.
Ramesh Kumari insisted that the four dine together at Bhardwajs residence where they once lived as a happy family, a source said.
Even on the Saturday before his murder,the family had a quiet dinner and spent two hours together before returning to their respective houses.
Bhardwaj often visited Ramesh Kumari and the sons and sometimes lunched at their houses. But they looked forward to Saturdays,where despite all arguments and fights,they dined together, the source said.
Bhardwaj was particular about his sons education and spent a lot of money on Niteshs education in the US.
When Nitesh was working in Canada,Bhardwaj visited him and stayed with him for two years while setting up hotels there.