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‘Won’t comment on Swati Maliwal issue as it’s sub-judice’: Arvind Kejriwal’s embarrassing evasion raises deeper questions about alleged assault inside his residence

In a recent interview with India TV's Peenaz Tyagi, Kejriwal appeared uncharacteristically restrained in weighing in on the Swati Maliwal assault case, conveniently hiding behind the 'matter is sub-judice' excuse to evade answering the question.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, who stole the thunder of competing INDI leaders after the Supreme Court made an exception to grant him bail earlier this month and then with the sordid saga of an alleged assault of his party’s Rajya Sabha MP inside his residence, was recently left red-faced in an interview with India TV where he dodged questions on the grave allegations levelled by his party colleague Swati Maliwal against his aide Bibhav Kumar. 

The AAP supremo, who had long projected an image of an intrepid politician who never feared fielding tough questions from journalists, came out as a vulnerable leader holding too many secrets close to his chest as he refused to present his side of the story in the Swati Maliwal assault case even though he kept iterating that there were two versions of the case. 

When India TV journalist Peenaz Tyagi asked what happened on the fateful day when Swati visited his residence, Kejriwal, who has been flagrantly flouting bail conditions set by the Supreme Court for the interim relief granted to him in the Delhi liquor scam, said since the matter is sub-judice, he wouldn’t like to comment on the matter. 

“The police have two versions of the incident, one is from Swati Ji and the other is from Bibhav. The police will be conducting an impartial probe into the matter and the truth will prevail,” Kejriwal blathered without addressing the question asked of him.

When Ms Tyagi pressed with a more pointed question highlighting how AAP leader Sanjay Singh had already admitted in a press conference that what happened with Swati Maliwal was wrong, Kejriwal went into a defensive mode, saying he wouldn’t want to comment on the matter since it is in the court.

“I don’t want to comment on the matter since it is sub-judice. I will wait for the court’s order… have trust in court, whatever it will say, we will accept it,” Kejriwal said. 

Further, when asked why Bibhav was still accompanying him despite Sanjay Singh’s assertion that Swati Maliwal was wronged, Kejriwal trotted out the same refrain that he was going to wait for the court order before speaking up on the matter. 

The circumspection is a far cry from the usually dauntless demeanour of Kejriwal, who gained notoriety for having a loose tongue and making declarations without weighing his words and their repercussions. Consequently, Kejriwal had to tender apologies in many cases for his indiscreet comments and, at times, for malicious allegations against his political opponents. 

Through his political speeches after coming out on bail, Kejriwal has also demonstrated that he cares two hoots about the bail conditions set out by the top court. The BJP has repeatedly accused Kejriwal of violating bail conditions, one of which includes restrictions on speaking about the Delhi Liquor case. Kejriwal has claimed that he and other AAP leaders are being framed in the case and that if the voters vote for him, he will not have to go to jail on June 2, the day when his interim relief ends. 

Clearly, Kejriwal is inconsistent in the manner he treats sub-judice matters. When it comes to his involvement in the Delhi liquor case, Kejriwal has been forthcoming in warding off allegations and proclaiming his innocence while being tight-lipped in the Swati Maliwal assault case. 

His uncharacteristic restraint over the Swati Maliwal assault case evokes suspicion over whether there is more than what meets the eye in the case, perhaps which is related to the cause of the altercation inside his house on the fateful day of May 13 than the altercation itself. What is that Kejriwal and the AAP leadership want to hide from the general public? The timing of the incident is also crucial, given that it took place days before Delhi, a supposed AAP bastion, was to go to polls.

His uncharacteristic restraint over the Swati Maliwal assault case evokes suspicion over whether there is more than what meets the eye in the case, perhaps which is related to the cause of the altercation inside his house on the fateful day of May 13 than the altercation itself. With rumours rife that Kejriwal has a knack for dictatorial tendencies, one cannot be sure what exactly transpired in his house that day, which led to an ugly fallout between the Delhi CM and one of his oldest lieutenants. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Jinit Jain
Jinit Jain
Writer. Learner. Cricket Enthusiast.

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