With Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Col. Devinder Sehrawat alleging in a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal that women were being exploited in Punjab on the pretext of a party ticket, Congress leader and former Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari on Tuesday said the people of the state need to ask themselves are they going to entrust the governance of Punjab to stand-up comedians or to the people who have been accused of sexually exploiting women.
“It’s absolutely serious. The tragedy of Punjab is that we have a very high level of addiction, especially in rural areas, to poppy husk called ‘puggy’ and now we seem to have swung to ‘cughhi’. The people of Punjab need to ask themselves are they going to entrust the governance of to stand-up comedians, or to the people who have been accused of sexually exploiting women; these are the people who are going to govern Punjab,” asked Tewari while speaking to ANI.
Asking the Punjab people to weigh their options very carefully, Tewari said “Under those circumstances, it is extremely and absolutely necessary that the people of Punjab weigh their options very carefully. And, if these allegations turned out to be correct, that the AAP in charges who are actually from outside Punjab have allegedly been insulting and assaulting Punjabi women, not going to play out very well in Punjab, I can tell you.”
In the letter to Kejriwal, Col. Sehrawat stated, “I saw disturbing reports about women are being exploited in Punjab in return of or giving promise of ticket. I am meeting people in Chandigarh to check the position on the ground. The MLAs of Delhi are unaware about what is being done by Sanjay Singh, Durgesh etc as party representatives in Punjab. Dilip Pandey is doing same in Delhi. Fermenting trouble in constituencies etc his photos with girls have surfaced regularly. Now the situation is getting indefensible and disgraceful. Action needs to be taken to remove rotten elements.”
When asked about the National Commission for Women (NCW) summoning AAP national spokesperson Ashutosh, Tewari said, “Well that’s between the National Women Commission and him. The larger issue is that would Punjab want to entrust its governance or would even Delhi wants to be governed by the people who are accusing each other of sexual exploitation?” Lashing out at NCW chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam, Ashutosh asked should he be punished for simply voicing his opinions. After receiving a notice from a NCW, Ashutosh took to Twitter and accused Kumaramangalam of still being a BJP member.
“Notice recd from NCW. Should I be hanged for writing a column? Is india turning into a fascist state? 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,” he said in a series of tweets.
He called on the NCW Chief to look at Wikipedia, where it clearly states that she is still a member of the ‘BJP National Executive’. The NCW today summoned Ashutosh, over his blog where he allegedly defended the sacked AAP minister Sandeep Kumar, who was expelled from the party after a tape emerged showing him in a compromising position with two women.
“We found that the blog was very objectionable as the tone used against women was very demeaning. First, he (Ashutosh) jumped the gun in trying to defend someone who as it turns out is actually guilty,” Kumaramangalam said in a press conference here.
Further stating that instead of showing restraint towards what was a “very patriarchal attitude towards women”, she said that the party spokesperson gave examples of various people who have had consensual sex with various women. “The fact that is most objectionable is that he almost has objectified women,” she added.
Col. Sehrawat too stated that justification put forward by Ashutosh are not as per the acceptable value systems, while asking Kejriwal to let the people know that “we still believe that we will change politics”.