Aam Aadmi Party leader Atishi on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of using Opposition MP Swati Maliwal in the assault case against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s aide to defame the party chief.

On Monday, Maliwal, the Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP, accused Kejriwal’s personal assistant of Bibhav Kumar of assaulting her and went to the police station. However, the police had not received a formal complaint from her at the time.

A day later, the Aam Aadmi Party said it would take strict action against Kumar for allegedly “misbehaving” with Maliwal, the former chief of the Delhi Commission for Women. Party leader Sanjay Singh had said that Kejriwal had acknowledged the incident.

On Thursday, Kumar was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 354 (assault or use of criminal force on woman with intent to disrobe), 506 (criminal intimidation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).

A day after he was booked, the Aam Aadmi Party changed its stance on the incident and accused Maliwal of colluding with the BJP, citing as evidence a video widely shared on social media.

Atishi said the video shows Maliwal “comfortably sitting in the drawing room” of the chief minister’s residence and “threatening the security staff”, and that “her clothes were not torn” as she had alleged in the police complaint.

“The video shows her threatening Kumar,” Atishi said at a press conference on Friday. “The charges levelled by Maliwal are baseless. Maliwal insisted on meeting Kejriwal. She is Rajya Sabha MP and she should know that the CM [chief minister] has a busy schedule. Kumar told her that the chief minister is busy and unable to meet her. She shouted at him, pushed him and tried to enter the residential portion of the CM House.”

Atishi also said that Singh only knew Maliwal’s version of the incident when he had said on Tuesday that Kumar had misbehaved with her. “But now Sanjay Singh is also aware of Bibhav Kumar’s statement, and most importantly this video has come up which makes it clear that the allegations made in the complaint are false,” Atishi added.

Following Atishi’s press conference, Maliwal said that the Aam Aadmi Party has chosen to side with a “goon” instead of her.

“The leaders who joined the party yesterday declared a 20-year worker as a BJP agent,” Maliwal said in a social media post. “Two days ago, the party had accepted the truth in the PC [press conference] and today it has taken a U-turn.”

Maliwal alleged that Kumar is threatening the Aam Aadmi Party by saying that he will reveal all secrets if he gets arrested in the case.

“Today, under his pressure, the party gave in and to save a goon, my character was questioned by the entire party,” Maliwal said. “No problem, I have been fighting alone for the women of the entire country, I will fight for myself too. Do character assassination as much as possible, the truth will come out when the time comes.”

Charges against Bibhav Kumar

On Thursday, Additional Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Khushwaha and Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police 2 (North) Anjitha Chepyala visited Maliwal at her residence to record her statement.

“She [Maliwal] has alleged that Kumar came into the room when she was waiting to meet Kejriwal, and started verbally abusing her, before slapping her multiple times, without provocation,” The Indian Express quoted an unidentified police officer as saying. “She further alleged that she raised an alarm and asked him to let her go, but he continued assaulting her.”

The police officer said that Maliwal had alleged that Kumar hit her on her face, chest, stomach and the lower part of her body, after which she ran outside and called the police control room before going to the police station.