Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti on Monday had ink hurled at him in Rae Bareli and was arrested later for allegedly making objectionable remarks last week.
He was arrested for criminal intimidation and promoting enmity between groups, police said, following remarks two days ago allegedly referring to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the state's hospitals.
He was remanded to 14 days in judicial custody at Amhat jail in Sultanpur district. His bail plea will be heard Wednesday, a government counsel said.Minutes before his arrest, a youth hurled ink at the Delhi MLA when he was emerging from a guest house. According to a purported video clip of his remarks Saturday on the state's medical facilities, the AAP MLA had said in Hindi, "Children are being born in hospitals, but they are of dogs." Shortly after ink was flung at him, Bharti is heard arguing with the policemen around him, telling them that he will strip them of their uniforms. He also tells the policemen to let Yogi Adityanath know that “all this” will not make a difference.
“Yogi's death is imminent,” he said. People around him are also heard asking police to ensure the arrest of the man who hurled ink at him.Police said the man involved in the incident is absconding.Amethi police had come to arrest the MLA, a former Delhi minister, in neighbouring Rae Bareli after BJP worker Somnath Sahu registered a complaint with them on Sunday over his alleged remarks a day earlier.
After the ink-throwing incident, Bharti also retweeted a video clip in which he is heard using a derogatory term for Adityanath, while talking about "atrocities on women" in the state.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal issued a strong reaction, targeting the UP chief minister.
"Yogiji, our MLA Somnath Bharti ji was going to see your government school. Ink was thrown at him? Are your schools so bad? If someone goes to see your school then why do you get so scared? Fix the school,” he tweeted, asking him to consult Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on how to go about it.
“Yogi ji, you are ruining the future of crores of children of Uttar Pradesh," Kejriwal said in another tweet.Shalabh Mani Tripathi, information advisor to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister, said everyone has the right to contest polls and level allegations against each other. But he slammed Bharti for allegedly using “indecent language” for a chief minister and abusing policemen discharging their duties.“This is the language of goons,” he said.
"Arvind Kejriwal is himself a chief minister. If he has the slightest idea about the post of a chief minister, then he should tender an apology to the entire country for the statement made by Bharti for UP's popular chief minister," he added.
A case was registered against Bharti under sections 507 (criminal intimidation) and 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups), Additional Superintendent of Police Daya Ram said. Kejriwal had declared last month that his Aam Aadmi Party will contest the next assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh.Manish Sisodia also accepted a “challenge” from a UP minister to debate how the two governments run their schools. But the debate never took place with the AAP saying that Uttar Pradesh Sidharth Nath Singh did not show up at the Lucknow venue.
Bharti courted controversy in 2014 as the law minister in the then Kejriwal government after he led a late-nigh vigilante raid against some African women, accusing them of being drug runners. In 2015, he was arrested in connection with a domestic violence case lodged by his wife. He was later cleared of the charge.