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Condemning Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh for his blog on ex-cabinet minister Sandeep Minister, the Nationalist Congress Party on Saturday dubbed it as ‘unfortunate’. “I know Ashutosh ji as a journalist and I had good opinions about him. But today, when I read his statement, I was really upset. Being a journalist and leader of the Aam Aadmi Party, the way he has defended Sandeep Kumar…I think this was not right,” NCP leader Tariq Anwar told reporters.
Tariq said the AAP as well as its chief Arvind Kejriwal should condemn Ashtosh’ statement on Kumar. “He has been compared with Gandhi ji and Nehru ji…it is extremely unfortunate. The AAP, especially Kejriwal should condemn the statement of Ashutosh ji,” he added. Ashutosh, in a column for NDTV.com, has vaguely clarified why the party sacked Kumar.
“I agree that Sandeep Kumar is a public figure, and to be in the public glare one, has to pay a certain price. A public figure can’t enjoy many discretions that an ordinary citizen can. A public figure probably cannot openly smoke, drink and flirt with the opposite sex, but he or she is entitled to his or her private space and he or she should not be chased there,” Ashutosh wrote, adding that the party is “deeply embarrassed”.
Ashutosh also went on to question the intentions of some television news channels that aired the footage of the alleged sex tape. He also pondered why India, as a country, never questioned “its leaders about what they do or have done in their private moments”. On a contrasting note, the AAP leader contemplated why a sex video of two consenting adults should grab headlines of the day.
Kumar earlier on Thursday said he was being targeted because he was a Dalit. “I come from a poor family. The poor are always trapped. Every time we rise, there are conspiracies to crush us. I am being targeted because I have set up a statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar in my house… I am ready for every agni-pariksha (trial by fire),” he told the media. To determine the authenticity of the CD, the Delhi Police’s Crime Branch has initiated an investigation.