Kejriwal, Sanjay Singh’s Pic With Aide Bibhav Drops A Hint About AAP’s Stand On Swati Maliwal Assault Row

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal spotted with close aide Bibhav Kumar in Lucknow airport on Wednesday night. (Photo: X | @KapilMishra_IND)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal spotted with close aide Bibhav Kumar in Lucknow airport on Wednesday night. (Photo: X | @KapilMishra_IND)

Trying to turn the tables on the BJP, AAP’s Sanjay Singh reminded the party of the Prajwal Revanna case as well as assault on Maliwal by Delhi Police when she came out in support of women wrestlers

Two days after acknowledging that Arvind Kejriwal’s former PS Bibhav Kumar had misbehaved with Swati Maliwal at the Delhi chief minister’s official residence and promising action against him, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Sanjay Singh was spotted at the Lucknow airport with Kejriwal and Kumar, sparking yet another controversy.

On Thursday, the AAP changed track and tried to play down the controversy, using statements such as “AAP is family” and “Don’t politicise the issue”. In fact, it tried to turn the tables on the BJP instead.

In a joint press conference by Kejriwal and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, when reporters persisted for clarification on the row, Yadav said “there are more important issues than this”. “BJP is not loyal to anyone. BJP is a gang that slaps false cases,” he added. Kejriwal remained silent and passed the mic to Sanjay Singh who launched into an attack on the BJP: “The entire country is saddened by the fact that even today, when a Kargil soldier’s wife was paraded naked, the PM remained silent.”

Just a day ago, Singh had met Maliwal at her residence. While neither have spoken about the meeting, it is learnt that he assured Maliwal that her concerns will be addressed.

According to sources, Maliwal had wanted a clear signal to be sent that what happened with her was wrong and action should be taken against Kejriwal’s former PS. The senior AAP leader has already done that through a press conference which may help him build confidence with Maliwal. However, now the question is what action will the chief minister take against his trusted aide. Officially, Kumar’s appointment has already been terminated by Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Vinai Saxena.

In Lucknow, Singh referred to the Prajwal Revanna case to up the ante and said thousands of women were allegedly raped by the leader who was allowed to flee by BJP. The AAP Rajya Sabha MP then recalled how Maliwal — as DCW chief — was thrashed by the Delhi Police when she had gone to Jantar Mantar at night to support the cause of women wrestlers.

“When pehelwan betiyan were fighting at Jantar Mantar demanding justice, then the very same Swati Maliwal, who was then the DCW chairperson, had gone to support them at night. Police had dragged her and beaten her up,” he said.

Seeking to play down the Maliwal-Kumar episode, the AAP trouble-shooter said: “The party is our family. It has just made its stand clear.”

This was in contrast to Singh’s statements just two days ago when he admitted to Maliwal’s allegation and said the chief minister will take action. “Swati Maliwal had reached the residence of Arvind Kejriwal to meet him and was waiting for him in the drawing room. In the meantime, Bibhav Kumar reached there and misbehaved with her. This incident can never be condemned enough. Kejriwal has taken cognizance of the issue and directed that strict action to be taken.”

On Thursday in Lucknow, targeting the BJP repeatedly, Singh said: “I want that whichever issue I have raised in front of you, the country’s PM must answer. Please give answers in the case of Maliwal also. When Maliwal had gone to seek justice for pehelwan betis, you got her beaten up. So, don’t do politics over this.”

On May 14, after making two calls on the helpline number 100 to say that she was at the chief minister’s residence and was assaulted by Kumar — first at Kejriwal’s behest and then correcting the accusation to drop the chief minister’s name — Maliwal had reached the Civil Lines police station. However, she has not filed an FIR yet.

The Maliwal saga will not have any closure until the young woman MP, known for her zeal in taking up the causes of women, actually speaks out.

Will Maliwal take her allegations to the logical conclusion by filing an FIR against her colleague of many years Bibhav Kumar? Will she do it ahead of Delhi elections on May 25 or after, if at all? Or will she bury the hatchet keeping in mind the irreversible damage her complaint may trigger? As AAP looks for a way out of the mess, BJP is going all guns blazing at the Kejriwal-led party, hoping to turn it into a burning issue this election season.

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