Aam Aadmi Party leader Ashutosh on Monday was summoned by the National Commission for Women for writing an online post defending suspended party leader Sandeep Kumar, who has been in the centre of a scandal involving an explicit videotape. Ashutosh had claimed that Kumar’s actions in the video – he is seen in compromising positions with two women, and one of them has accused him of rape – were simply a “private act” and that the sex was consensual. The Delhi Police had also registered a complaint against him in the matter earlier in the day.
Ashutosh took to Twitter to defend himself against the allegations, where he accused NCW chairperson Lalitha Kumaramangalam for being close to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party at the Centre. Ashutosh tweeted “Ms Mangalam as a chairperson of NCW, you should not lie on a national TV that u r not BJP member.Wikipedia writes You are still a member [sic]. Kumaramangalam had told NDTV that “he [Ashutosh] should admit he made a mistake" through his post, which she claimed was derogatory.
The AAP had distanced itself from Ashutosh’s comments, even as he insisted that Kumar had been suspended from the party for “perception management”. Both the Congress and the BJP have condemned the post, especially as it also referred to the private lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. BJP leader Satish Upadhyay said, “Ashutosh has hurt the feelings of people, especially by comparing a rape accused to Mahatma Gandhi, George Fernandes and with Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He has indulged in a childish act by comparing them.”