DCW row: Swati Maliwal now says her staff barred from entering office

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 23, 2015 17:10 IST
The new chief of Delhi Commission of Women, Swati Maliwal, visits the GB Road area of Delhi. (Arun Sharma/HT Photo)

Swati Maliwal, whose appointment by the AAP government as the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief started a new power tussle between Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, said on Thursday that her staff was barred from entering the office and her nameplate removed.

In a series of tweets, Maliwal said: "I have sought an explanation over the matter from a senior officer that whether there was a call from the LG or the LG's office? On whose directions was my nameplate removed?"

"On whose orders was my office locked and who barred my staff from entering the office? The truth must come out."

On Wednesday Jung, who has declared his office synonymous with the government of Delhi, had sought an explanation from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government on how Maliwal, the wife of AAP leader Naveen Jaihind, was appointed.

Read: LG Najeeb Jung says he is the government in Delhi

The latest flashpoint between the LG and Kejriwal's government was a letter from Jung's office to the chief minister saying his approval had not been sought in appointing Maliwal.

Jung's office had said that the appointment of 30-year-old Maliwal, a social activist, was "in breach of rules and procedures" and "had no legal sanctity". However, the Delhi government said it acted well within its powers.

Maliwal had earlier alleged that Jung's office asked her not to come to work and that she was told her office will be locked.

"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 on Wednesday.

Later, Maliwal sought to clarify her tweet, saying that Jung's office had communicated to her office not to come to work.

Maliwal 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.

Jung's office, however, denied the charge about the locking of the DCW office. Sources in LG's office strongly rejected her claim that Jung had called her personally, adding none from his staff had even talked to her.

"The LG is very upset with the way such allegations are being levelled against him," they said.

The 30-year-old women's activist said she will continue in her capacity as DCW chief till further government orders in this regard.

"I have a schedule for field visit tomorrow (Thursday) and I will stick to it. I will follow the government orders. I think the issue will be resolved," she said.

The government led by Kejriwal said she will continue in her post. A final decision on the entire issue will be taken tomorrow (Thursday), said a senior government official.

"Nobody could shake my morale. I have been fighting for women within the system for last 10 years and will continue to do so.

"I want to assure the women that I will continue to work in the grassroots. I have been fighting for women within the system for last 10 years and will continue to do so," she said.

Maliwal also said she respects the "constitutionality" of 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.

Read: LG Jung seeks AAP explanation on Maliwal's appointment as DCW head

LG Jung says he is govt in Delhi, scraps AAP appointment

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