'If any atrocity happens to any woman ... ': What Priyanka Gandhi said on Swati Maliwal assault case

'if any atrocity happens to any woman ... ': what priyanka gandhi said on swati maliwal assault case

'If any atrocity happens to any woman ... ': What Priyanka Gandhi said on Swati Maliwal assault case

NEW DELHI: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday came out in support of AAP MP Swati Maliwal, who was allegedly assaulted by Arvind Kejrwal's ex-aide, but avoided any direct comment on the case calling it AAP's internal issue.

"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. Secondly, AAP will discuss amid themselves and make a decision. It is up to them," Priyanka said when asked about the alleged assault which has put not just the AAP but also other parties of opposition's INDIA bloc on the backfoot.

The opposition leaders have avoided a direct remark on the alleged assault case even as the BJP has stepped up the ante demanding action against Bibhav Kumar, who was PA to Arvind Kejriwal. Swati Maliwal, who has fought against injustice and violence against women for years, has chosen to remain silent on the issue, adding to the intrigue.

The AAP has accepted that Bibhav misbehaved with Maliwal at Kejriwal's residence and has maintained that action will be taken against the former PA.

Earlier today, Kejriwal did not respond to queries on the case during his joint press conference with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Lucknow. When asked a pointed question during the press conference, Kejriwal was shielded by Akhilesh who said "there are other issues that are more important than this."

The BJP has slammed Kejriwal for his silence on the issue and sought his resignation.

"She is certainly the leader of the opposition party but BJP is fighting to ensure that she gets justice. In the police general diary it was mentioned that a call had been received by police and it was made through Swati Maliwal's mobile the caller mentioned that 'I am speaking from CM's residence and he made me thrashed from his PA Bibhav Kumar'. It's not important which party she belongs but she should get justice," said BJP national spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia.

"Arvind Kejriwal should answer and if you are a coward CM and cannot speak even 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," he added.

AAP on its part has accused the BJP of playing politics over the issue. AAP leader Sanjay Singh reminded the BJP of its actions against Maliwal when she was protesting in support of the women wrestlers in Brij Bhushan sexual harassment case.

"The BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi should answer for atrocities against women during the party rule. The entire country is sad till date that wife of a Kargil veteran was paraded naked in Manipur and the PM of India remained silent. Prajwal Revanna raped thousands of women and he was allowed to flee from the country by the BJP," Sanjay Singh alleged.

"When the female wrestlers were protesting at Jantar Mantar, Swati Maliwal went there as NCW chief, she was dragged and beaten by the police. In UP, in case of Kuldeep Singh Sengar and Hathras the PM of India has remained quite and not said a word," he added.

On Monday morning, Maliwal had gone to the Civil Lines police station in the national capital and alleged that a member of Kejriwal's personal staff "assaulted" her at the chief minister's official residence. However, she did not lodge a formal complaint.

Delhi Police have now initiated probe into the incident on the basis of the call record details of Maliwal's phone call to the police. A team of Delhi Police today visited Maliwal's residence to record her statement.

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