Punjab CM slams Sukhbir for dragging Rahul, Gandhi family into 1984 riots case

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has lashed out at Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal for trying to drag the Gandhi family into the 1984 riots case and said that neither Congress nor Gandhis had any role in the riots.

Slamming the SAD president’s “frustrated” attempts to undermine Rahul’s leadership, the Chief Minister said it was evident that Sukhbir was desperately trying to grab at straws to fight back into the electoral game ahead of the parliamentary polls.

Lambasting the Akalis for “exploiting religious sensitivities to garner electoral support”, Captain Amarinder asked Sukhbir to stop politicising such a sensitive issue. “Misusing religion for political gains will not yield any dividends for the SAD and would backfire on the party in the Lok Sabha elections, as it had done in the 2017 Assembly polls,” the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister reiterated his stance that while individuals who had any role to play in spreading mayhem against the Sikh community deserved to be punished and should pay for their crimes, it was irrational to try and drag the Congress party as a whole, or the Gandhis, into the case.

“Criminals have no religion and are not affiliated to any political party,” said Captain Amarinder, adding that all those responsible for perpetrating the violence in the wake of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination will pay for their crimes. “The courts have already set a precedent in the case by sentencing Sajjan Kumar to life term,” said the Chief Minister, expressing the confidence that others guilty of the heinous crime will also pay in the same coin.

“If Sukhbir was really concerned about punishing the guilty, why had he never raised the issue of the 22 RSS/BJP workers named in the FIR registered in the case at Tughlaq Road police station,” questioned the Chief Minister, adding that the entire hullaballoo being raised by the Akalis was nothing but politically motivated agenda to divert attention from their own wrongdoings and misdeeds.

The Chief Minister pointed out that he had been consistently maintaining that Sajjan Kumar was named by the victims whom he had visited in the refugee camps following the riots. “The names of other Congress leaders whom Sukhbir was trying persistently to drag into the case were never mentioned,” said Captain Amarinder.

Captain Amarinder’s statement came a day after SAD president asked Congress chief to tell the people whether he will expel Jagdish Tytler from the Congress and remove Kamal Nath from the post of chief minister of Madhya Pradesh or wait for them to be sentenced by courts before taking action against them.

Addressing a press conference here following a meeting of the party’s core committee on Wednesday, Sukhbir 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.”