Somnath Bharti
[Representational Image] An FIR has been registered against Aam Aadmi Party MLA Somnath Bharti for allegedly 'instigating' men to misbehave with a woman earlier this month. Picture: Delhi legislator Somnath BhartiIANS

Cashing in on an opportunity that it least expected, the BJP is making the most of it.

On Thursday, the party's women's wing stepped the ante against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Somnath Bharti, who is facing allegations of domestic violence made by his wife Lipika Mitra.

The BJP Mahila Morcha flocked him when he was on his way to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at his residence, apparently to explain his position.

The Mahil Morcha members surrounded Bharti's car, holding black flags in protest against the domestic violence accusations, which Bharti dismissed as 'baseless'. 

Meanwhile, Lipika Mitra has filed a complaint against Bharti with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) following which the DCW has asked him to appear before the Commission on 26 June.

"His (Bharti's) wife is distressed and said she was beaten, verbally abused and given death threats. Her children were also harassed," IANS quoted DCW chief Barkha Singh as saying.

In her complaint, Mitra has accused Bharti of physically and mentally harassing both her and their children for the past five years, even accusing him of threatening to kill her.

"I cannot explain my trouble in a couple of words. It has been going on since 2010. I want to be out of this marriage... I want separation and to live with my children with dignity," Mitra said.

However, Bharti has refuted her accusations. 

"It is very painful to know that my wife has gone to public forum regarding family matter. I always loved her... For 5 years she had been making demand that I have to choose between my mother and her," he added.

Meanwhile, both Delhi police and AAP will be conducting separate investigations into Mitra's allegations.

"She met police, necessary investigation will be conducted," Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi said, whileAAP leader Dilip Pandey said, "We will conduct investigation at our level in this case".

The AAP recently landed into trouble when its former law minister Jitender Singh Tomar was arrested on Tuesday over the fake degree row. The Delhi police, which claims to have found evidence to prove the degree certificates were fake, are interrogating him.

He has filed a petition for bail which will be heard on 16 June.

The two developments could not have at a much inopportune time for the AAP, which is already facing a standoff with the Modi government over jurisdictional powers on running Delhi. 

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