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IANS Interview: Ex-AAP MLA slams Kejriwal’s deafening silence, party’s stand on Swati Maliwal assault case


New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Adarsh Shastri, a former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator, on Friday hit out at the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government over the brazen assault of the party’s serving Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal inside the Chief Minister’s residence and rued that a party which once boasted about women empowerment has stooped to a level, where women are harassed and tormented at the highest level.In an exclusive interview with IANS, Adarsh Shastri, grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri came down heavily on the Delhi Chief Minister over his deafening silence on the Maliwal episode and also his personal Secretary Bibhav Kumar for first staying mum on the controversy and then deploying party’s ‘troll army’ to back the CM’s aide, rather than ensuring justice for former DCW chief.”It’s beyond comprehension how Swati Maliwal was punched and thrashed inside the Chief Minister’s residence. And, more baffling is Arvind Kejriwal’s silence on the issue and AAP brass rallying behind CM’s aide rather than seeking justice for the woman MP,” he said.He said that Kejriwal’s PA Bibhav Kumar was not a commoner and rather wielded immense influence in the CM’s office.”Bibhav served as the gatekeeper of CM house, he decided who would meet Kejriwal, what would be the agenda of discussion and more,” he said while claiming that he did not know him personally.Sharing his experience on his brief stint with the AAP, Adarsh Shastri said Arvind Kejriwal is like a megalomaniac, with a habit of self-eulogy and a penchant for looking down upon others.”Kejriwal exhibits megalomaniac symptoms, more than often. He thinks meeting party legislators or public representatives below is dignity,” he told IANS.On queries of whether Sunita Kejriwal’s ‘uncomforting equations’ with Maliwal led to the Rajya Sabha MP’s assault inside the CM’s house, he said that he did not know about any resentment between the two but Kejriwal must be aware of the incident what happened inside his residence.He further blamed Kejriwal dispensation for not doing enough for security of women in capital and also pointed out that the party failed to utilise Nirbhaya Fund.He also blamed party convenor Arvind Kejriwal for ‘exodus of top leaders and founding members’ from the party.”The one reason why founding members parted ways with the AAP is because of Kejriwal’s double standards and doublespeak on multiple issues,” he said on a closing note.Notably, Adarsh Shastri is currently a leader of the Congress.–IANSmr/pgh

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