The National Commission for Women (NCW) has issued summons to AAP national spokesperson Ashutosh for his blog post defending former AAP minister Sandeep Kumar, who was expelled from the party after an “objectionable” video allegedly featuring him came to light.
Taking cognisance of Ashutosh’s blog titled “The Sex was Consensual, Private Act”, NCW chief Lalitha Kumaramagalam has issued a notice to the leader and asked him to appear before the commission Thursday.
The notice states that the NCW is ‘deeply disturbed’ by reports of the blog which it found to be ‘very objectionable and obnoxious’. The notice stated, “In the article, you have also referred to great leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhiji, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.The NCW is therefore, extremely upset with such irresponsible, misogynist, disparaging views by persons holding responsible positions.”
The matter soon blew up into a war of words with Ashutosh claiming the summons were “politically motivated”. He tweeted that Kumaramagalam is a member of the BJP national executive and was a national secretary of the party.
Terming the blog as one that degrades women, Kumaramagalam said, “We found that the blog was very objectionable as the tone used against women was very demeaning. He jumped the gun in trying to defend someone who as it turns out is actually guilty.”
She added that Ashutosh justified the former minister’s act by citing examples of known figures who have had “consensual sex” with various women. The NCW chief also pointed out that one of the AAP’s pre-election promise was ensuring the safety of women in Delhi. “It is surprising that Ashutosh doesn’t know that since I have become NCW chief, neither am I the executive member of BJP nor the spokesperson,” she added.
On receiving the notice, Ashutosh once again tweeted, “Is any freedom of expression? Is India turning into a fascist state?”
Meanwhile, a complaint has been lodged at northeast Delhi’s Jyoti Nagar police station against Ashutosh over his blog. The complaint was filed by Subodh Jain, an RTI activist and former journalist, who demanded legal action against the AAP leader. Jain said Ashutosh’s argument in defence of Sandeep Kumar — that it was a matter of his “personal life” – is a sign of his “warped mindset”.
“Now that the debauchery of his own party leader has been exposed, Ashutosh’s argument of private life and his questioning of Mahatma Gandhi’s character is a sign of his warped mindset,” said Jain.
While confirming the complaint, DCP (northeast) A K Singla told The Indian Express that they were verifying the allegations. Police added that similar complaints against the AAP leader have been lodged at northeast Delhi’s Khajoori Khas police station and west Delhi’s Ranhola police station.