Badal packed his bag and left for US during ’84 anti-Sikh riots: Punjab CM

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday claimed that Sukhbir Singh Badal had packed his bags and gone to the United States for studies when the 1984 anti-Sikh riots erupted. He alleged that Badal dragged Gandhi family’s name into the issue for public attention ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year.

Asserting that he had personally witnessed the developments during the riots and had first-hand knowledge of the sequence of events that occurred, Singh said: “Sukhbir’s statements blaming the Gandhis for the riots, with which they were not even remotely connected, were completely baseless and senseless, and a clear case of desperation to get back into the electoral game ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.”

“He was not even around at the time of the incidents and was dragging the Gandhi family into the case to get his virtually defunct party back into the public limelight,” he said. Singh also refuted Badal’s allegation that Singh was defending the Gandhi family in order to save his chair.
Singh said that his defence of the Gandhi family was out of his personal knowledge which he had gathered from visiting various refugee camps in the wake of the riots.

“While Rajiv Gandhi was out electioneering in West Bengal, Rahul was just a school-going child at the crucial time, and neither had any role to play in the riots in which a few individual Congress leaders were named by the victims,” said Punjab Chief Minister.

He challenged the SAD leader to provide evidence against the Gandhis or the Congress party on the issue.

Badal while addressing a press conference on Wednesday said, “Rahul should explain his silence and also clarify why he tried to mislead the people a few months back by claiming that no Congress leader was involved in the 1984 Sikh massacres.”