Delhi CM aide Bibhav arrested, Kejri & Co to storm BJP’s Delhi office today : The Tribune India

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Delhi CM aide Bibhav arrested, Kejri & Co to storm BJP’s Delhi office today

Maliwal acting under pressure: AAP | Nadda calls it a ‘party built on lies’

Delhi CM aide Bibhav arrested, Kejri & Co to storm BJP’s Delhi office today

Bibhav Kumar

Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon & Samad Hoque

New Delhi, May 18

The Delhi Police on Saturday arrested AAP supremo and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s personal secretary Bibhav Kumar for allegedly assaulting Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal, triggering a massive political slugfest between bitter rivals BJP and AAP.

Kumar, Kejriwal’s aide of over 20 years, was detained from the CM’s residence in the upmarket Civil Lines area of the Capital at 11 am and formally arrested around the same time when his anticipatory bail plea was being heard in the Tees Hazari Courts and an order was expected.

“The court began hearing his plea at 3.55 pm. When his lawyers began arguments, the police learnt their case was weak and Kumar would get relief, so they arrested him. Kumar’s lawyers were informed of the arrest only at 4.55 pm when the court was dictating its order,” said senior AAP leader and Delhi minister Atishi. This, she said, turned Kumar’s plea infructuous.

Real face exposed

Assault mirrors AAP’s real face. They call people home and beat them up... did this with an ex-burea-ucrat also. —JP Nadda, BJP president

Playing ‘jail game’

PM is playing ‘jail, jail khel’ with AAP by jailing our leaders. AAP is a thought... more you crush us, more we’ll rise. —Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi CM

Kumar had at 9.52 am sent an email to the SHO, Civil Lines police station, saying he would cooperate in the matter of the Maliwal FIR. Kumar also urged the police to register a case on his counter-complaint in which he had accused Maliwal of “forceful entry” and threats in the CM’s house on May 13, the day the alleged assault occurred. As the matter blew over, AAP cried foul alleging that Maliwal was being used and blackmailed by the BJP because she “faced arrest in a 2016 graft case” for illegal recruitments during her time as the Delhi Commission for Women chief.

AAP today also signalled apprehensions of Maliwal’s switch to the saffron side, with Atishi saying: “She (Maliwal) is being threatened by the BJP under the same SOP as was used for Ajit Pawar, Praful Patel, Himanta Biswa Sarma... Another video shows her being escorted out of the CM’s house on May 13.” While Pawar and Patel joined hands with the BJP to form the Maharashtra Government after splitting parent party NCP, Himanta joined the saffron ranks in August 2015. The BJP trashed all allegations with national president JP Nadda asking why Kejriwal pushed away the microphone in Lucknow when he had a chance to comment on the Maliwal issue that very day.

“AAP is built on lies. This assault mirrors their real face. They call people home and beat them up. They did this with a former bureaucrat also,” Nadda said to a news agency today. The reference was to a 2018 alleged assault of then Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash by some AAP MLAs at the CM’s house. The Supreme Court in August 2021 discharged Kejriwal and 10 others in the matter.

As the political mercury soared ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in Delhi and Haryana (May 25) and later Chandigarh and Punjab (June 1), where AAP has high stakes, Kejriwal surfaced too. Taking the microphone (a digital recording from CM house), the AAP chief spoke for Bibhav, but not Maliwal or her alleged assault.

“You are all watching how the BJP is after AAP and seeing how one leader after another is jailed. They put me, Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Sanjay Singh and today my PA in jail. Now, they are saying they will put Raghav Chadha, who has just returned from London, behind bars,” he said.

Remanded in 5-day police custody

Bibhav Kumar, accused of destroying evidence, has been sent to five-day police custody. He was arrested at the same time when his anticipatory bail plea was being heard in court. AAP leader Atishi alleged that sensing their case was weak, the police arrested Kumar.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Arvind Kejriwal #BJP #Rajya Sabha

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