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Maliwal Threatens to Take AAP Ministers to Court as LG Supports Her

Maliwal Threatens to Take AAP Ministers to Court as LG Supports Her

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 21: Even as the former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal accused the Aam Aadmi Party ministers of “spreading lies” about her by branding her as the “BJP agent” and threatened to take them to court, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Tuesday came out in the open in her support prompting the AAP to nail it as a further proof of she being “working for the BJP.”

In a post on X, Ms Maliwal, still an AAP member of the Rajya Sabha, refuted allegations by AAP leaders that she had filed the assault complaint against the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal assistant Bibhav Kumar at the BJP’s behest as a corruption case was registered against her.

Her reference was to the Delhi minister and AAP leader Atishi claiming on Saturday soon after Bibhav Kumar’s arrest that Ms Maliwal was facing charges in an illegal recruitment case and she was “blackmailed” by the BJP to become part of the “conspiracy” against the chief minister. Kumar was arrested on Saturday after Ms Maliwal alleged that he had assaulted her on May 13 at CM Kejriwal’s official residence.

“Since yesterday, Delhi ministers have been spreading lies that just because a corruption FIR has been lodged against me I am doing this at the behest of BJP. The FIR was registered in 2016 and after that I was appointed the chief of the Delhi Commission for Women twice by both the chief minister and the Lt Governor. The case is completely fake and the Hon’ble High Court has imposed a stay for the last one-and-a-half years and has also accepted that there was no exchange of money,” she said in her post.

“Before I gave the complaint against Bibhav Kumar, I was lady Singham and today I have become a BJP agent,” she said and accused AAP leaders of unleashing the “troll army” against her to malign her image since she “spoke the truth.”

But soon after her post, LG Saxena, who has had frequent confrontations with the AAP government in the national capital over a host of issues, said in a statement that he was “deeply distressed” over the unfolding media narrative on the Swati Maliwal issue.

“Yesterday, she (Ms Maliwal) called me out of sheer anguish, describing at length her traumatic experience, and the subsequent intimidation and shaming that she is being subjected to by her own colleagues. She also expressed concerns over reported tampering of evidence and coercion against her,” the Lieutenant Governor said.

“Although Ms Maliwal has been vociferous, hostile and blatantly partisan towards me and my office, often criticizing me unjustifiably, yet any physical violence and hounding perpetrated on her are inexcusable and unacceptable,” he added in the statement.

Responding to the Lieutenant Governor’s strong statement, AAP said his letter “proves that Swati Maliwal is working for the BJP.” “With the elections on, the BJP is bringing a new conspiracy daily, from liquor scam to Swati Maliwal to foreign funding. The BJP is losing badly, so they are trying to revive their prospects by using the Swati Maliwal issue.”

The AAP, which had earlier said Mr Kejriwal has directed strict action against his aide, later alleged that the BJP was trying to include Ms Maliwal in a conspiracy. “The anti-corruption bureau of the BJP has filed a case against Swati Maliwal regarding the illegal recruitment of contractual employees in DCW. A charge sheet has been filed and the time of conviction is coming, we believe that Swati Maliwal is being included in the conspiracy by using this case,” Delhi minister Atishi said.

Turning against the AAP government and Mr Kejriwal, Mr Saxena in his statement said it was “most disturbing” to note that the alleged scene of crime was the Chief Minister’s drawing room and he was at home. Referring to AAP MP Sanjay Singh’s statement to the media days after the May 13 incident, Mr Saxena wrote, “Her fellow member of Rajya Sabha confirmed her narrative in full media glare, and assured that the CM would take firm action against the culprit – his aide. Subsequently, a total U turn was done in the matter, apparently at the behest of the highest functionary. This too is inexplicable and baffling.”

“I would have expected that at least for the sake of propriety, my CM would have come clean, rather than being evasive and dodgy. His deafening silence speaks volumes of his stance on safety of women,” the statement said.

Delhi, the Lieutenant Governor said, was the national capital and home to the entire diplomatic community from around the world. “Such shameful incidents and the insensitive and conspiratorial contemptuous government response, on an issue of women safety, tarnishes India’s image worldwide. Had such an incident happened in any other Chief Minister’s residence in the country, external forces with vested interests, inimical to India, would have unleashed a scathing global narrative around women safety in India. The absence of any outrage in this case leaves several questions unanswered,” he said, adding, “Delhi Police is investigating the matter and I assure that the matter will be brought to its logical conclusion.”

As the police on Tuesday recorded the statements on the Maliwal issue of all the staff present in Mr Kejriwal’s house on May 13, the BJP asked Mr Kejriwal to explain how Swati Maliwal entered his house without an appointment despite his Z-level security detail.

Ms Maliwal also spoke about the threat to her other family members. “All the members of the party are receiving calls saying if there is any personal video of Swati, send it. It has to be leaked. They are putting my relatives’ lives in danger by tweeting their details after procuring them using their vehicle registration numbers.”

“Well, lies don’t last long. But in the intoxication of power and the obsession to bring someone down, it should not happen that when the truth comes out, you are not even able to look your family in the eye. I will take you to court for every lie you spread!” Ms Maliwal said in her post.



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