Trouble in AAP: Party blames BJP in Swati Maliwal case, Kejriwal named in ED chargesheet

Kejriwal is out on interim bail, but his party is caught in the crosshairs of another controversy.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Swati Maliwal, Arvind Kejriwal, and the alleged CCTV footage.

The cracks within the Aam Aadmi Party are only growing worse after its Rajya Sabha MP, Swati Maliwal, accused a fellow partyman of assault.

Yesterday, AAP minister Atishi accused Maliwal of being a “pawn” to hatch this “BJP conspiracy”. Just a day before, its national spokesperson Sanjay Singh had said the party would take appropriate action and that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had asked for a probe too.

And this morning, the party went on the offensive, tweeting video footage that it claimed “exposes the truth” behind Maliwal’s allegations. Hours later, Delhi police arrested Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar in the Swati Maliwal “assault” case.

Taking almost a backseat to this disarray is that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, presently out on 21-day interim bail in the alleged liquor scam case, was named as an accused in the chargesheet filed yesterday by the Enforcement Directorate. The central agency has alleged that the AAP chief was in direct contact with a “hawala operator” citing “chats” between the two.    

The ED’s move came a day after Additional Solicitor General SV Raju told the Supreme Court that the AAP would also be made an accused in the case. Raju said that “evidence” shows that Kejriwal – who was arrested in the case on March 21 – demanded a bribe of Rs 100 crore that funded the AAP’s Goa assembly polls campaign. 

The Swati Maliwal case

Meanwhile, the media has tried to make sense of what it’s crudely dubbed “assaultgate”.

The charges here are serious. Earlier this week, Maliwal, formerly head of the Delhi Commission for Women, called the police alleging an assault by Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar. She claimed it had taken place at Kejriwal’s home, while the CM was in residence, on May 13. 

Yesterday, an FIR was lodged after she submitted a formal complaint. According to ANI, Maliwal mentioned in the FIR that she “was slapped, hit on the stomach, and kicked”.

Maliwal also tweeted about giving her statement to the police. “I hope that appropriate action will be taken. The last few days have been very difficult for me. I thank those who prayed for me. Those who tried to do character assassination, who said I was doing it on the instructions of another party, may god keep them happy too.”

She urged people to remember that an “important election is going on in the country”. A medico-legal case report indicates that Maliwal had bruises on her left leg and right cheek.

But last evening, Atishi claimed Maliwal was acting under pressure from the BJP, purportedly over a case lodged against her by the Anti-Corruption Bureau. Notably, in 2016, an ACB case was lodged against Maliwal for allegedly making illegal appointments in the DCW in favour of AAP.

The AAP’s tweet this morning seemingly showed Maliwal being escorted out of Kejriwal’s house on May 13. Maliwal has said she “received information” that the CCTV footage was “tampered”.

In an even further escalation, Kejriwal’s aide Bibhav Kumar filed a police complaint against Maliwal yesterday, accusing her of “forcefully and illegally” trespassing into Kejriwal’s home on May 13. He claimed Maliwal “threatened to implicate him in false cases”. 

Delhi, meanwhile, goes to the polls on May 26. Click here to check out our election coverage.

Also see
article imageSwati Maliwal ‘assault’ FIR: Here’s everything we know so far


We take comments from subscribers only!  Subscribe now to post comments! 
Already a subscriber?  Login

You may also like