No conflict of interest? AAP to appoint wife of one of its leaders as DCW chief
news Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 05:30
In a move that has attracted much controversy and severe criticism from lawyers and political parties, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi is reportedly set to appoint Swati Maliwal as the next chief of the Delhi Womenâ€™s Commission. Mahiwal is set to replace the outgoing Barkha Shukla Singh, whose term is set to end in the next three days. Why has the move attracted criticism? Mahiwal is a former member of the India Against Corruption (IAC) movement, the wife of Haryana AAP leader Naveen Jaihind and an advisor (grievances) to the CM Arvind Kejriwal. Her purported appointment has come under fire with political parties accusing the AAP of partisan behaviour by promoting one of the members of their party into the government. Former AAP member Prashant Bhushan took to Twitter to voice his disappointment. Â Kejriwal confidante Swati to be appointed DCW chief. AAP to follow Cong lead to appoint partisans to statutory posts. Alternative politics? â€” Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) July 15, 2015 Senior advocate Abha Singh was not pleased with the appointment either, and questioned Mahiwal's credentials. â€śHow has she contributed for women's rights? She is not at all a name in women rightsÂ activism. Merit and merit alone should be taken into consideration while appointing someone for such a post,â€ť she told Zee News. The partyâ€™s history with the DCW The AAP have had a turbulent time with the womenâ€™s rights body since coming into power. The party had accused the ex-Congress MLA Barkha Singh and DCW chief of abusing her power and had issued a show-cause notice to her, asking her why she should not be dismissed. Singh had been appointed to the post by former CM Sheila Dikshit. The party had been irked after Singh had issued summons to AAP leader Kumar Vishwas. An AAP volunteer had accused Vishwas of not rebutting rumours linking the duo together and had complained to the DCW. Former Law minister with the AAP government Somnath Bharti was pulled up by the DCW next, after his wife alleged domestic violence. â€śThey (Kumar Vishwas and Somnath Bharti) are anti-social elements who enjoy Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's protection. They have no respect for women and for the Commission. I urge Chief Minister Kejriwal to take action against them,â€ť Singh had said earlier. Singh has also come out and criticised the appointment of Maliwal as her successor to the post. â€śThis is an important position which needs a mature and experienced person,â€ť she is quoted as saying.