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Arvind Kejriwal’s Aide Summoned By Women’s Panel Over Swati Maliwal Row

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May 16, 2024

Bibhav Kumar – Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal‘s aide, who has been accused of harassing ruling Aam Aadmi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal – has been summoned by the National Commission for Women. Mr Kumar has been called to the NCW’s city office at 11 am Friday.

Allegations Ms Maliwal – the ex-Delhi Commission for Women Chairperson – was assaulted and harassed by Bibhav Kumar while at the Chief Minister’s residence have rocked the ruling party.

The allegations broke Monday after Delhi Police said two emergency calls claiming harassment were received from numbers registered to Ms Maliwal. The cops said the former women’s panel chief then showed up at the city’s Civil Lines Police Station but left without filing a formal complaint.

Ms Maliwal has yet to confirm or comment on the allegations.

However, a day after the alleged assault, and amid furious speculation over Ms Maliwal’s silence, AAP MP Sanjay Singh responded, labelling the incident “shameful” and stressing action would be taken.

READ | Kejriwal Office Staffer “Misbehaved” With Swati Maliwal: AAP Leader

“A very distressing incident took place yesterday (Monday) morning. Arvind Kejriwal had called Swati Maliwal for a meeting. She was waiting in the drawing room to meet him when Bibhav Kumar came in and misbehaved with her. After this, Ms Maliwal called the police and told them what happened.”

“Arvind Kejriwal has taken cognisance and said strictest possible action should be taken…” he said.

The allegations have triggered a fierce political row between the AAP and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, which are the main contenders for the national capital’s seven Lok Sabha seats, which will vote next week in the fifth of a seven-phase election. In 2019 the BJP won all seven seats.

#WATCH | Delhi BJP President Virendraa Sachdeva says, “We know that Vibhav Kumar is Arvind Kejriwal’s associate and handles all his work…Who insighted him? Who gave him the directions? All this should be investigated…It would have been better if Sanjay Singh himself went to… https://t.co/j1M6uh6vDS pic.twitter.com/GnnguiItwR

— ANI (@ANI) May 14, 2024

Speaking immediately after Mr Singh’s statement Tuesday, the BJP’s Delhi boss, Virendra Sachdeva, told NDTV, “Why were they silent for 36 hours? Where was the Chief Minister? A Rajya Sabha MP… a woman… was misbehaved with at Mr Kejriwal’s home and you are taking cognisance only now?

The BJP has also accused Mr Kejriwal – released from Delhi’s Tihar Jail on bail last week, following his arrest in March on corruption charges, so he can campaign for his party – of shielding Mr Kumar.

READ | Kejriwal Avoids Questions On Swati Maliwal, AAP Leader Replies

An under-fire AAP hit back earlier today, with Sanjay Singh demanding the BJP first answer questions about crimes against women in Manipur and allegations of sex crimes against Karnataka lawmaker Prajwal Revanna, who is a member of the Janata Dal Secular that is allied with the saffron party.

READ | JDS Leader On The Run In Sex Tapes Case Back This Week?

“When our wrestler daughters were fighting for justice (referring to allegations of sexual assault against national wrestling body chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh), it was Swati Maliwal who went to support them… and was beaten by police,” Mr Singh, also out on bail, declared to reporters.

“The Aam Aadmi Party is a family… has made its stance clear. I want Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and the BJP to respond to issues I have raised…” he said.

Significantly, Mr Singh’s counter came after questions regarding the Swati Maliwal row had been asked of Arvind Kejriwal. Mr Singh seemed to answer on behalf of the party boss, who stayed silent.

The BJP has launched protests over a police case against Mr Kumar and “justice” for Ms Maliwal.

NDTV is now available on WhatsApp channels. Click on the link to get all the latest updates from NDTV on your chat.

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