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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Aam Aadmi Party MP Swati Maliwal writes to INDIA bloc on assault by Arvind Kejriwal's aide

In identical letters to Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, M.K. Stalin, Sharad Pawar, Akhilesh Yadav, Uddhav Thackeray and Lalu Prasad, Maliwal has sought appointments with them to discuss the alleged smear campaign against her by AAP leaders and the threats that have followed

Pheroze L. Vincent New Delhi Published 19.06.24, 06:45 AM
Swati Maliwal.

Swati Maliwal. File picture

Aam Aadmi Party MP Swati Maliwal has reached out to INDIA allies for support in her dispute with the AAP over the alleged assault on her by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar.

In identical letters to Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, M.K. Stalin, Sharad Pawar, Akhilesh Yadav, Uddhav Thackeray and Lalu Prasad, Maliwal has sought appointments with them to discuss the alleged smear campaign against her by AAP leaders and the threats that have followed.

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She wrote that after she complained to the police about the assault on May 13, “regrettably, instead of finding support, I was confronted with incessant attacks on my character and victim shaming orchestrated by the leaders and volunteers of my own party. A smear campaign was organised in the electronic and social media to undermine my reputation, character and credibility. Due to the lies spread against me, I have been receiving multiple rape and death threats”.

The AAP had initially admitted to “misbehaviour” by Kumar at the chief minister's residence. However, the party soon took a U-turn after Maliwal cooperated with the police, and cited a video of her arguing with security staff at the alleged crime scene to claim that “it was a BJP conspiracy; Swati Maliwal was made its face to frame Kejriwal”.

In her letters, Maliwal said: “Over the past one month, I have encountered first-hand the pain and isolation a survivor faces when she fights for justice. The brutal victim shaming and character assassination I have been subjected to would discourage other women and girls from speaking up against abuse.”

Maliwal did not respond to this paper's queries about what exactly she expected from AAP’s allies.

During the poll campaign last month, Kejriwal had led a protest against his aide’s arrest. He later said that he wanted a “fair investigation”.

The BJP used the case as an example to appeal to voters not to vote for a party that treated its women leaders in such a way.

Maliwal headed the Delhi Commission for Women before being elected to the Rajya Sabha earlier this year. She listed the achievements of the DCW in her letters.

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