Politician Shrikant Tyagi, who has been arrested for abusing and assaulting a woman in Noida, used to attend events organised by the BJP but has been abandoned by the party now, his wife claimed on Thursday.

“I have seen him attending programmes, events and rallies of the party [BJP],” Ankita Tyagi said, according to PTI. “I wonder in what capacity he attended those events! Now he has been abandoned. I don’t know why.”

Tyagi, who claims to be a BJP leader, was arrested on August 9 from Meerut. He was sent to 14-day judicial custody by an Uttar Pradesh court.

Tyagi had been on the run since August 5 after a video of him assaulting the woman at a residential complex in Noida went viral on social media. In the video, he was seen verbally abusing her as she tried to stop him from planting trees in the society’s common area, citing a violation of rules. Tyagi could be seen pushing the woman and shouting at her husband too.

The politician identifies himself as a national executive member of the BJP’s Kisan Morcha and national co-ordinator of the Yuva Kisan Samiti of the ruling party. However, the saffron party has denied having any links with him.

Tyagi was booked under Section 354 (assault or use of criminal force on any woman, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage her modesty) of the Indian Penal Code. After his arrest, he was also charged under Section 420 (cheating) as the police found that he possessed a car sticker that read “vidhayak” – MLA in Hindi.

Tyagi has claimed that Samajwadi Party leader Swami Prasad Maurya had given him the sticker. Maurya quit the BJP and joined the Samajwadi Party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections held earlier this year. Maurya, however, refuted the claims saying that he has not met Tyagi in the last four years.

On Thursday, Ankita Tyagi said that her husband was involved in social work in Noida, Ghaziabad and Modi Nagar.

“If he stopped over at a market in these areas, hundreds of people would gather there immediately,” she claimed. “Such has been his social connection.”

Talking about the viral video, she admitted that the language used by her husband was inappropriate but alleged that the argument was triggered by the woman.

“If we did not have any right to plant the trees, did she or other women of the society have the right to uproot any tree?” she said, according to PTI. “They could have contacted the forest department, the local authorities for appropriate action.”

Ankita Tyagi also alleged there was politics in the case right from the society level to “higher levels”. She claimed that her family had been harassed during the whole investigation of the case.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Women Safety and Central Noida) Ankita Sharma, however, denied these charges.

“She [Ankita] has been treated with utmost dignity,” Sharma said, according to PTI. “No mistreatment was meted out to her during questioning or was the family harassed.”