New Delhi: Under attack for selection of Swati Maliwal, wife of AAP leader Navin Jaihind, as the Delhi Commission for Women's (DCW) chief, the party on Wednesday refuted the charges of "nepotism" while chief minister Arvind Kejriwal rubbished the opposition claim that she was related to him.
Sources in the Delhi government said Maliwal's appointment order will soon be issued and the DCW will be reconstituted. The current DCW chief Barkha Singh's tenure is due to end this week.
Maliwal (30) has been associated with the AAP chief since India Against Corruption (IAC) days. Married to Jaihind, a key party leader from Haryana and a known Kejriwal loyalist, she currently works as an adviser to Delhi Chief Minister on public grievances and handles his Janta Samwad.
"Government will issue notification regarding the appointment of Swati as new DCW chief within three days. DCW will be reconstituted. Other members of the Commission will also be appointed. Government is now considering few names for members of DCW," said a senior official.
When contacted, Maliwal refused to comment on the issue. A source close to her said she will react only after the notification is out.
The opposition was aggressive over Maliwal's selection terming it as "nepotism" while the AAP maintained that her selection was done purely on "merit".
Referring to reports claiming that Jaihind and Kejriwal were relatives, BJP's Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay questioned whether the Delhi CM was carrying forward the "Jai Hind jijaji (hail brother-in-law)" tradition of Congress by considering Maliwal for the job. He said the BJP would approach the court if it finds Maliwal was not qualified for the post.
The Congress said AAP, which used to criticise nepotism and favouritism, are now following the same path just to promote few members of his party.
Swaraj Abhiyan leader and lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, also took a dig at Kejriwal questioning whether appointing close "confidante" Maliwal to statutory posts was a step towards alternate politics.
"Kejriwal confidante Swati (Maliwal) to be appointed DCW chief. AAP to follow Cong lead to appoint partisans to statutory posts. Alternative politics?" Bhushan tweeted.
Kejriwal confidante Swati to be appointed DCW chief. AAP to follow Cong lead to appoint partisans to statutory posts. Alternative politics?
— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) July 15, 2015
The Delhi CM was quick to react and said Maliwal was not related to him. "Some media houses and opposition leaders alleging that Swati is my cousin. Complete nonsense. She is not even remotely connected," he tweeted.
Some media houses n opp leaders alleging that swati is my cousin. Complete nonsense. She is not even remotely connected(1/2)
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 15, 2015
Incidentally, AAP had always maintained that the post of the DCW is being "politically misused" and it would ensure that it does not happen during its tenure.
"I would like to say it on record that she is not a member of the Aam Aadmi Party," AAP's Delhi unit chief Dilip Pandey said.
#SwatiMaliwal was trending on social networking site Twitter, earning praise from AAP supporters and brickbats from the opposition.
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Updated Date: Jul 15, 2015 19:58:36 IST