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AAP leader Bharti claims living separately from his wife for past 5 years

PTI 13 Jun 2015, 18:28:10 IST

Chennai:  Two days after the Delhi Commission for Women summoned him on charges of harassing his wife, AAP leader Somnath Bharti today said they were untrue and lacked substance.

He said he will appear before the Commission wherever he had to and "when a legitimate" need arose. Bharti claimed that he had been living separately from his wife for the past five years and therefore there was "no question of any domestic violence".

Among his wife's demands were to "choose between her and my mother," and quit AAP and politics, Bharti told reporters in Chennai.

"I have told her that I cannot stop serving my mother and motherland," he said, adding, he was open to discuss other issues with his estranged spouse. Commenting on local politics, he alleged that both DMK and AIADMK were "corrupt" and said his party hoped to "do a Delhi in Tamil Nadu," in next year's Assembly elections in the state.

In her complaint filed with the Delhi Commission for Women, Bharti's wife Lipika also alleged that he had forced her to go for abortion when she became pregnant for the third time and that she once tried to slit her wrist due to unrelenting torture.

"In her complaint, she mentioned that her husband used to unleash dogs on her when she was in seventh month into her pregnancy. She said he once forced her to abort and that she tried to slit her wrist," DCW Chairperson Barkha Singh said.

Lipika said in her 26-page complaint to DCW about a "persistent threat to her life" from Bharti. The couple has two children and Lipika lives separately in Dwarka along with the kids.

A lawyer by profession, Bharti, who was Law Minister during AAP's first stint of 49-day government, denied the allegations as "totally baseless".

Bharti was on Wednesday slapped with notices by DCW after Lipika levelled charges of domestic violence, mental torture, dowry and forgery against him. The DCW has asked him to appear before it by June 26.

The DCW chief said, "The couple had met on SHAADI .com and Bharti had told her lies about he owning an international law firm."