The Aam Aadmi Party has declined to take action against Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti, turning a deaf ear to calls from Opposition parties and women’s groups to remove the Minister for allegedly leading a group of people to raid a house in South Delhi last week.

The Political Affairs Committee of the party, which met on Thursday, asserted that Mr. Bharti’s action as a local area representative should be “appreciated.”

Overriding growing differences within the party as well over Mr. Bharti, the leadership backed him citing lack of prima facie evidence against him.

Party sources said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was not in favour of any action against him before the judicial inquiry was completed as the party would then be accused of holding an unnecessary dharna, leading to a stand-off with the Centre.

“Prostitution and drug trafficking is a serious issue in the area, about which the local residents have been complaining to the police. Since the police did not act, they went to their elected representative for relief. What Mr. Bharti did was not an act of corruption, neither was it a self-serving step. His action should in fact be appreciated,” AAP leader Yogendra Yadav told reporters.

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