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Priyanka Gandhi’s Cautious Response on Swati Maliwal Assault Inquiry

Assault
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When asked about the controversy surrounding the alleged assault of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP and former Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Swati Maliwal, which has put the party led by Arvind Kejriwal in a difficult position, Congresswoman Priyanka Gandhi Vadra responded with caution.

The personal assistant of Mr. Kejriwal, Bibhav Kumar, is accused of assaulting Ms. Maliwal, a member of the Rajya Sabha, on Monday morning at the Chief Minister’s residence in Delhi. She hasn’t yet complained to anyone. The media was informed by AAP MP Sanjay Singh that Ms. Maliwal, who visited the Chief Minister’s house to meet him, “misbehaved” with Bibhav Kumar. He went on to say that “strictest” action would be taken in the matter and that the Chief Minister had taken note.

Today, a Delhi Police team comprising three IPS officers visited Ms Maliwal’s Delhi residence.

When news agency ANI asked Ms Gandhi Vadra about the matter concerning its ally AAP, she replied, “There are two issues here. If any atrocity happens to any woman anywhere, we stand with the woman. I always stand with women – irrespective of which party they belong to. And, AAP will discuss it among themselves and take a decision. It is up to them.” Ms Gandhi Vadra is in Raebareli to campaign for her brother and Congress candidate Rahul Gandhi for the May 20 election.

Once bitter rivals, AAP and Congress have now joined forces under the INDIA Opposition bloc to take on the ruling BJP in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. AAP and Congress have an alliance in Delhi, where the BJP has been winning all seven Lok Sabha seats over the past two elections. The two allies are, however, on opposite sides in Punjab, where AAP is in power and Congress is the main opposition.

In the alleged assault case, the BJP has launched a full-scale attack on the AAP ahead of the May 25 national capital polls. The AAP leader has launched harsh criticism of the BJP since Mr. Kejriwal was released on temporary bail, which coincides with the BJP’s accusation.

In actuality, Mr. Kejriwal answered questions about the Swati Maliwal case today in Lucknow during a press conference with Akhilesh Yadav, the leader of the Samajwadi Party. Speaking to a journalist about the subject, Mr. Yadav stated that there were other pressing matters that needed to be addressed.

Later, AAP MP Sanjay Singh, seated next to the Delhi Chief Minister, responded to the question. “The whole country is upset that a Kargil hero’s wife was stripped and paraded in Manipur, scores of women were tortured, but the Prime Minister is silent. Thousands of women were raped by (JDS MP) Prajwal Revanna, and the Prime Minister seeks votes for him. The BJP helps him flee the country. When our wrestler daughters were fighting for justice at Jantar Mantar, it was Swati Maliwal, then Chairperson of (Delhi) Women’s Commission, who went to support them and was dragged and beaten by the police,” Mr Singh said.

The Rajya Sabha MP said Aam Aadmi Party is a family. “The party has made its stance clear, and I want the Prime Minister and the BJP to respond to all the issues I have raised. Please don’t play political games on this,” he said.

Eager to corner AAP over the issue, the BJP has questioned Mr Kejriwal’s silence on the issue. “She is the leader of the opposition party, but BJP is fighting to ensure that she gets justice. Arvind Kejriwal should answer, if you are a coward CM and cannot speak a single word, then you should resign because the women of the country are angry and feeling insulted and only Arvind Kejriwal is responsible for this,” party spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia has said.

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