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AAP pushes out women’s panel chief

New Delhi, Jan. 29: Delhi women’s commission chief Barkha Singh was on her way out today after the government got the lieutenant governor’s nod to remove the defiant member.

Singh had demanded the resignation of law minister Somnath Bharti, who is accused of leading a mob in a late-night raid on some African women on the allegation that they were involved in a drug-and-prostitution racket.

Sources said Maitreyi Pushpa, a Hindi author known for her fearless women protagonists, was most likely to take over, though the government had also proposed two other names.

They said Pushpa, 69, was chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s choice as he wanted to appoint someone apolitical.

In a tweet on its official Twitter page, Kejriwal said: “Maitreyi Pushpa is good Novelist and literature expert. She will be an apolitical DCW chairperson. All these years DCW chairperson used to be a political person, but now we want to change that.”

Pushpa’s works include 10 novels and seven short story collections.

The government had also proposed the name of Alka Lamba, who recently shifted loyalties from the Congress to the AAP. The third name was that of a woman journalist who writes on gender issues.

Singh, whose tenure ends next year, said the government was “harassing her” for her stand against Bharti. “This is retaliation against me for taking a strong stand,” Singh, who plans to lead a delegation tomorrow to lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung, said.

“There is no question of my resignation,” the former Congress MLA added.