Barkha Singh refuses to step down from post
Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women Barkha Singh on Wednesday accused the AAP government of harassing her for summoning Law Minister Somnath Bharti in connection with the south Delhi raid episode and refused to step down from the post.
A former Congress MLA, Ms.Singh had a public confrontation with Mr.Bharti’s lawyers last week when they came to depose before the DCW on his behalf in the case of alleged harassment of a number of Ugandan women. Ms.Singh, who had lost the Assembly election from R.K.Puram, said she was holding a constitutional post and there was no need to resign from it though the Congress dispensation, which had appointed her, was defeated.
Earlier this month, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Arvinder Singh Lovely had asked all partymen to quit from various posts in government-run boards and commissions, following convention.
“It is a constitutional post and I still have one year and four months left in my tenure. The AAP government is harassing me and targeting me because I summoned Mr.Bharti in connection with the ill-treatment of Ugandan women during the midnight raid in Khirki Extension,” Ms.Singh said.
When asked about Mr.Arvinder Singh Lovely’s direction to partymen to relinquish their posts in boards and commissions, the DPCC chief said he had withdrawn his directive. A number of AAP leaders said that in keeping with the tradition, Ms.Singh should have resigned after her party was ousted from power.
The DCW chairperson had summoned Mr.Bharti over allegations that he had led a group of supporters against some African women after claiming they were involved in a drug and prostitution racket. Mr.Bharti did not depose before the Commission on January 24 as directed but sent his lawyers who were not allowed to put across their views by Ms.Singh.
“Those Ugandan women had come to me with their complaints and I did my duty. If they are removing me because I summoned the Law Minister, then it is totally wrong. It is an atrocity against me,” Ms.Singh said.
The AAP, in a statement, had accused Ms.Singh of “politicisation” of the Commission by its chairperson.