Maliwal vs Bibhav: Assault accusation shakes AAP ahead of Lok Sabha poll : The Tribune India

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Maliwal vs Bibhav: Assault accusation shakes AAP ahead of Lok Sabha poll

Maliwal vs Bibhav: Assault accusation shakes AAP ahead of Lok Sabha poll

Swati Maliwal became one of the youngest participants in Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption movement



Tribune News Service

Samad Hoque

New Delhi, May 18

Less than 10 days before the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi, the AAP has found itself in turmoil as two party figures have clashed in an assault case. Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal has accused Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s close aide Bibhav Kumar of assaulting her at the CM’s residence.

Bibhav Kumar, a close confidant of Kejriwal, began his career with ‘Kabir’, an NGO run by Manish Sisodia

Maliwal, born in Ghaziabad on October 15, 1984, has carved a niche for herself in the socio-political arena.

She is an alumna of Amity International School and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from JSS Academy of Technical Education. Her career began in the corporate sector with HCL Technologies. Maliwal later transitioned to activism, getting involved with NGO ‘Parivartan’, led by Kejriwal and former deputy CM Manish Sisodia. She became one of the youngest participants in Anna Hazare’s India Against Corruption (IAC) movement. In 2015, Maliwal was appointed Chairperson of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), where she advocated for women’s issues in the Capital. She served the position until 2024.

She led numerous initiatives aimed at empowering women and fighting against gender-based violence. She received a three-year extension in 2018. In January 2024, the AAP nominated her for Rajya Sabha from Delhi, where she was elected unopposed alongside colleagues ND Gupta and Sanjay Singh.

Meanwhile, Bibhav Kumar, a close confidant of Kejriwal, began his career with ‘Kabir’, an NGO run by Sisodia. His association with Kejriwal deepened over the years, leading to his appointment as Kejriwal’s personal assistant in 2015. He managed both personal and political affairs for the Delhi CM. However, Kumar has been under scrutiny by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the excise policy-linked money laundering probe and alleged irregularities in the Delhi Jal Board. In April 2024, his services as Kejriwal’s PA were terminated by the Directorate of Vigilance due to these allegations, a decision he contested before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) without success.

Both Maliwal and Kumar hold significant positions within AAP, albeit in different capacities. Maliwal is widely recognised for her activism and contributions to women’s rights, garnering considerable public support. On the other hand, Kumar’s image has been marred by his legal troubles and allegations of corruption. These allegations have put the party on the defensive amid the election season.

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