‘This is a minor technical glitch’
The appointment of Swati Maliwal as chief of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has become yet another flashpoint between AAP government and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung who declared her nomination null and void, saying it did not have legal sanctity and was in violation of constitutional provisions.
Meanwhile, Maliwal on Wednesday claimed that LG Najeeb Jung asked her not to attend office from Thursday and had also said it will be locked, a charge denied by the LG’s office.
Maliwal, whose appointment as DCW chief was struck down by Jung amid an escalating row with the AAP government, said nobody could “shake her morale” and that she will continue to work for women’s rights, in an indication of defying LG’s order.
“The LG has called me and told me that I should not come to office from tomorrow (Thursday) and all my files are being taken back. The DCW office will be locked,” she tweeted.
However, when contacted, Maliwal sought to clarify her tweet, claiming that Jung’s office had communicated to her office not to come to office from Thursday.
Sources in LG’s office, however, strongly rejected her claim that Jung had called her personally, adding none from his staff had even talked to her.
Earlier in the day, referring to a Home Ministry order, the LG’s office insisted that ‘Government’ meant the “Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi” appointed by the President, insisting that he was the sole authority in deciding on major issues including appointment to top positions.
“The constitutionally valid consistent definition of government is the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi appointed by the President under Article 239 and designated as such under Article 239 AA of the Constitution,” the LG’s office said.
Maliwal had on Monday sought an urgent appointment with the LG to discuss the Anand Prabat murder case in which a 19-year-old girl was stabbed to death by two youths.
Maliwal is wife of AAP leader Navin Jaihind and has been an advisor to Kejriwal on public grievances and handles his Janta Samwad. She has been associated with the AAP chief since India Against Corruption (IAC) days.
The AAP government has targeted the Delhi Police and the Centre over the incident, blaming them for the “ramshackle” law and order situation in the city. On her part Maliwal on Wednesday said she respects the “constitutionality” of the LG’s office and hoped the “minor” issue will be resolved.
“I think this is a minor technical glitch because what is being said is that the file (my appointment) was not sent to LG’s office. I think it will get resolved. It is not a very major issue,” she told reporters.
Referring to reports claiming that Jaihind and Kejriwal were relatives, BJP’s Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay had 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.
The Congress had also said AAP, which used to criticise nepotism and favouritism, is now following the same path to promote a few members of the party.