An official whose appointment has set up the latest instalment of an ugly power battle between Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has alleged that her office has been locked and nameplate removed. “I have been asked not to sign on files,” Swati Maliwal, the new chief of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) told NDTV, alleging that it was done on Mr Jung’s orders.
My Nameplate Removed From DCW Office : Swati Maliwal
Ms Maliwal’s appointment by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government was rejected on Wednesday by Mr Jung, whose office said in a sharp letter that the “constitutionally valid and consistent definition of ‘Government’ is the Lieutenant Governor.” AAP leaders have taken it up with union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
A combative Ms Maliwal, 30, said she was not going to office today but would not back down.This is not an issue where we are going to get scared, nor will we beg higher authorities. I am here to do serious work,” she said, adding that the “DCW is becoming a kitty party commission.”
Sources in the Lieutenant Governor’s office have denied making any call to the DCW or Ms Maliwal.But Ms Maliwal stood her ground, saying she meant the Lieutenant Governor had “communicated to my office, not me directly.”
She also said she had been trying to meet Mr Jung for three days but was still waiting for an appointment.
“It’s really sad that a constitutional authority appointed by the Delhi government is being treated like this,” she said.
Mr Jung in his letter to the Delhi government made it clear that the appointment of Ms Maliwal, a social activist and wife of an AAP leader, was “in breach of rules and procedures” and “had no legal sanctity”.
Asserting that she remains the chief of the women’s panel, Ms Maliwal said she would set up an inquiry into the killing of a 19-year-old girl who was stabbed multiple times at a west Delhi colony, allegedly for protesting against harassment by a neighbor.
Arvind Kejriwal has made this case the focal point of his demand for full control of Delhi Police, which currently reports to the central government and which, he alleges, is working without any accountability.