Maliwal assault case: Such incidents tarnish India's image worldwide, says Delhi LG

Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena on Tuesday said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's "deafening silence" on the alleged assault on AAP Rajya Sabha MP "speaks volumes of his stance on safety of women" and stressed that CM should have not been "evasive" and "dodgy" on the incident.
Maliwal assault case: Such incidents tarnish India's image worldwide, says Delhi LG

New Delhi | Delhi Lt Governor V K Saxena on Tuesday said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's "deafening silence" on the alleged assault on AAP Rajya Sabha MP "speaks volumes of his stance on safety of women" and stressed that CM should have not been "evasive" and "dodgy" on the incident.

Hitting back, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said LG's letter proves "Maliwal is working at the behest of BJP." The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested Kumar, an aide of Kejriwal, after Maliwal accused him of assaulting her on May 13 at the Delhi Chief Minister's official residence.

In a statement on X by Raj Niwas, Saxena said the Delhi Police is investigating the matter and it will be brought to its "logical conclusion." He also called the alleged U-turn by the party on the matter "baffling." "I have been deeply distressed over the unfolding media narrative over the last few days on the issue of alleged assault on Ms Swati Maliwal, MP, Aam Aadmi Party, at the residence of Chief Minister, when she went there to meet him all alone.

"Yesterday, she called me out of sheer anguish, describing at length her traumatic experience, and the subsequent intimidation and shaming that she is being subjected to by her own colleagues. She also expressed concerns over reported tampering of evidence and coercion against her," he said.

On Kejriwal, Saxena said, "I would have expected that at least for the sake of propriety, my CM would have come clean, rather than being evasive and dodgy. His deafening silence speaks volumes of his stance on safety of women." Delhi is the national capital and is home to the entire diplomatic community from around the world and "such shameful incidents and the insensitive and conspiratorial contemptuous government response, on an issue of women safety, tarnishes India's image worldwide," he said.

"Had such an incident happened in any other Chief Minister's residence in the country, external forces with vested interests, inimical to India, would have unleashed a scathing global narrative around women safety in India. The absence of any outrage in this case leaves several questions unanswered," he said in the statement.

Saxena rooted for Maliwal even, as he said, she has been "vociferous", "hostile" and "blatantly partisan towards me and my office, often criticizing me unjustifiably." Saxena said it was "most disturbing" that the alleged scene of crime was the drawing room of the Chief Minister, even while he was allegedly present in the house, and that it was carried out by his "closest aide" on a woman who was alone.

"Her fellow member of Rajya Sabha confirmed her narrative in full media glare, and assured that the CM would take firm action against the culprit -- his aide.

"Subsequently, a total U turn was done in the matter, apparently at the behest of the highest functionary. This too is inexplicable and baffling," he said.

On May 14, senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh had said that the incident with Maliwal was "highly condemnable" and claimed that Kumar had "misbehaved" with her.

Days later, Atishi, in a press conference, termed the case a "BJP conspiracy" to frame Kejriwal and called Maliwal its "face." Responding to LG's statement, the AAP said the BJP is hatching a "new conspiracy" every day in the lead up to the polls.

"Sometimes they rake up the excise policy case, sometimes the Swati Maliwal incident and sometimes the allegation of party receiving foreign funding. BJP will use new tactics against us till polls. BJP is losing the polls badly and they are trying to lift their status using the Maliwal issue," the party alleged.

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