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AAP goes into silent mode on Swati Maliwal controversy

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Lucknow, May 16: The Swati Maliwal episode is getting increasingly awkward for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

At a Press conference with Akhilesh Yadav here on Thursday, Kejriwal was at a loss to face questions on the issue and quietly shifted the microphone to AAP MP Sanjay Singh.

Singh diverted the issue of Swati Maliwal being roughed up by Delhi Police personnel when she went to support the protesting women wrestlers.

Singh evaded all questions about his meeting with Maliwal and action needed in the matter.

However, he said that the BJP should also answer about atrocities on women in Manipur, the sex scandal involving Prajwal Revanna, the harassment of women wrestlers and the incidents in Hathras and Unnao.

On May 13, former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal was allegedly assaulted at the official residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by his personal assistant Bibhav Kumar.

That the incident took place inside the CM’s residence and involved his Personal Assistant (PA) has given the opposition enough ammo to fire at the AAP supremo amid the ongoing election season.

While it is obvious for the BJP to seek political mileage out of the incident, it has raised more questions than answers.

First, and perhaps the biggest, is the silence of Kejriwal over the entire matter.

The provocation behind Kumar’s alleged action has still not been made public. Why the chief minister, who was apparently present in the house, did not intervene before or after the incident also remains unclear so far.

Secondly, and what complicates the matter further, is Maliwal’s continued silence on the matter. Hailed as a champion of women’s rights, she has fought against injustice and violence against women for years.

Surprisingly, on Wednesday, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav gave his platform to AAP leaders but the latter had nothing new to say to the people of Uttar Pradesh.

Kejriwal reiterated his earlier claims that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would retire at the age of 75 and Union Home Minister Amit Shah would take over as Prime Minister — a claim that has been vehemently denied by Shah himself.

He again claimed that the UP chief minister would be removed from his position if the BJP won the elections and that reservation would be done away with.

Kejriwal appealed to the people of Uttar Pradesh to vote for INDIA bloc candidates and left the Press conference hastily.

Akhilesh Yadav did not comment on the Maliwal episode but restricted himself to attacking the BJP. He said that after the polls, BJP leaders would open a University of Falsehood.

He said that the country’s population was 140 crore but the BJP would not even get 140 seats.

IANS

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