Clouds hover over Bharti's presence at kite festival

 Doubts emerged on Thursday if city's Law and Tourism Minister Somnath Bharti would inaugurate the Third Delhi International Kite Festival on Friday as the scheduled timing of the event appeared to be clashing with his scheduled appearance before a women’s panel over his “raid” against Ugandan women.

Delhi Women Commission chief Barkha Singh confirmed that Bharti was expected to attend the hearing in the panel at 3 pm.

Organisers of the Delhi Tourism event, also expressed the hope that the tourism minister would keep his date and throw open the kite festival at 3 pm.

“The event is on. So far, we haven’t go any regret message (from the minister’s staff),” said an official.

The festival will be held at Golden Jubilee Park near the Yamuna iron bridge.
Earlier, Bharti did not attend office in Delhi secretariat and refused to take questions from reporters at his office-cum-residence in his constituency, Malviya Nagar.

“The minister is not meeting any mediaperson,” said his personal assistant.
Sources said the minister’s supporters were planning to hold a series of protest in Khirki Extension area, where the controversial 'raid' against Ugandan women took place on January 17.

A protest against Malviya Nagar SHO is also expected outside the police station, said an AAP member close to Bharti. He has now been sent on leave by the lieutenant governor.

AAP leader  Yogendra Yadav justified Bharti’s 'raid' and said his actions should be “appreciated”.

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