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Swati Maliwal Assault Case: Does Kejriwal Wants to ‘Reward’ Abhishek Manu Singhvi?

© AP Photo / Altaf QadriDelhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal speaks during a protest against the alleged attacks on federalism by the federal government, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal speaks during a protest against the alleged attacks on federalism by the federal government, in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.05.2024
AAP Rajya Sabha member and former Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal alleged on Monday May 13 that she was attacked at Delhi State Chief Arvind Kejriwal’s residence by his personal assistant Bibhav Kumar.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) faces more controversy related to alleged attack on the party’s Rajya Sabha member Swati Maliwal by its Delhi state leader's personal assistant.
The AAP was in good spirits after its national convenor Arvind Kejriwal was granted interim bail in a money laundering case related to the now-scrapped Delhi liquor policy.
But Maliwal, who is also a former Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief, said she was attacked by Bibhav Kumar at Kejriwal’s Flagstaff Road residence earlier this week.
The incident was reported on May 13 after Maliwal made a call to the police from Kejriwal’s residence and later went to police station.
However, she did not file an official complaint. Several media reports suggested that she left the police station after receiving phone calls.
The case is now gaining momentum as a First Information Report (FIR) has been registered by Delhi Police based on Maliwal's statements.
The FIR against Kumar was filed under sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force on woman with intent to disrobe) 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

BJP Criticises Kejriwal

After the incident was reported by the media, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) criticized Kejriwal — claiming that Maliwal had been attacked at the behest of the AAP chief.
The saffron party’s women's wing even staged a protest outside the Kejriwal's residence and demanded his resignation.
The party has also accused the AAP leader of protecting his personal assistant.

Is AAP Rewarding Singhvi?

Days after the incident unfolded, a highly placed source told Sputnik India on condition of anonymity that Kejriwal wanted Maliwal to resign from Rajya Sabha and give membership to Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who represents him in the Delhi Liquor Policy case.

“Basically, [the party wants Maliwal to resign from Rajya Sabha and vacate the seat for Singhvi. She had gone to Kejriwal’s residence to discuss this only,” the source said.

He further alleged that Singhvi was being rewarded by Kejriwal for representing him in court and for his success in securing him bail to campaign in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
Political expert Vinod Kumar Shukla told Sputnik India the source was credible, as the AAP as well as Kejriwal sees Singhvi as more useful than Maliwal as the legal case is unlikely to end soon, and the party could also be named as a defendant.

“Kejriwal believes that Singhvi could be more effective as compared to Maliwal in all regards be it articulating party’s stand in the Upper House or dealing the legal matters of the party," Shukla said. "Singhvi was successful in getting the interim bail for him so Kejriwal wants to reward him for his efforts.”

He added that Kejriwal’s wife Sunita does not get on with Maliwal, and she endorsed Singhvi for the Rajya Sabha.
Shukla added that the way the assault case is proceeding makes it clear that Maliwal will neither resign from the Rajya Sabha nor drop the charge.
But the political expert refuted claims that Maliwal was offered a Rajya Sabha seat in Punjab soon to be vacated at the end of Harbhajan Singh's term.
“If the party would have any such plans then she should have been included in the list of star campaigners of the party in Punjab but her name is not there," he said.
"Apart from this, if this could have been the case then Kejriwal could have asked Singhvi also to wait for some time and offered him Rajya Sabha membership from Punjab," Shukla speculated. "This is not the scenario. It’s only that Kejriwal now is seeing no utility in Maliwal so wants her to resign.”
A para military force soldier stands guard on the opening day of the winter session of the Parliament, in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022. - Sputnik India, 1920, 16.12.2022
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