Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday defended his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) colleague Kumar Vishwas in a controversy linking him with a party volunteer, saying the rumours were spread to defame his government.
"Some sections of the media are making disgusting allegations against us. We have no option but to remain silent on this issue." Kejriwal said in an emotional interview to ANI.
He said Vishwas and his family members were deeply affected by the controversy and that the AAP leader's daughter was teased about this at school.
The party also issued an statement that echoed Kejriwal and expressed shock at the way the party leaders’ families were being targeted. “Both Vishwas and the complainant have denied an affair. His whole family is depressed. When his daughter went to school in the morning, her friends asked her about the rumours. What sort of politics is this? Please attack us, leave our families alone,” the statement said.
In a complaint against Vishwas, a party volunteer had accused him of not rebutting "rumours" about an affair with her.
The woman wanted Vishwas to clarify that she was not in an "illicit relationship" with him while campaigning for last year's national elections.
Earlier in the day, several AAP leaders alleged that the complainant was coached by a Congress party member after a video of a man whispering into the ear of a woman prior to her statement to the media was circulated. The man, according to AAP leaders, was a former Youth Congress leader from Noida.
Drama at women's panel meeting
The controversy, meanwhile, took a strange turn on Tuesday with a member of the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) publicly defending Vishwas before announcing her resignation from the panel.
At a press conference called by the DCW, member Juhi Khan angrily contradicted panel chairperson Barkha Singh saying that Vishwas was innocent and that he was being framed.
Accusing the DCW chief of trying to gain political mileage from the issue, Khan walked out of the meeting and told reporters she was sending in her resignation letter.
Barkha Singh responded by saying that Khan was sent by the Aam Aadmi Party to disrupt the meeting.
Singh also claimed that Vishwas was lying when he said that he had not received any summons to appear before the commission on Tuesday and that she had a receipt of the notice served on him.
He has been asked to appear before the commission on Wednesday now but some reports suggest that he is scheduled to fly to USA that day.
Earlier in the day, BJP workers held a protest outside Kejriwal's residence demanding action against the AAP leader.
The BJP workers accused Kejriwal of shielding Vishwas and said they will continue their protest till action was taken against him. The protesters also tried to break barricades outside the chief minister's residence.