New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislator Jarnail Singh on Saturday clarified that he had not mentioned former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s name in connection with the latter’s alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, but took his name as part of his own opinion.
“This (Bharat Ratna be taken back from Rajiv Gandhi) wasn’t a part of the original resolution. It was my feeling and I said it. Technically, it wasn’t in the notice,” he told ANI.
However, Singh said that the killing of thousands of people in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots should be termed as “genocide.”
“So far the Congress and the BJP have not termed the 1984 Sikh riots as genocide but on Friday the AAP did it in the Delhi assembly. I thank everyone present in the assembly for doing it on Friday. I appealed every that the killing of thousands of innocent people on that day should be called as genocide,” said Singh, MLA from Tilak Nagar.
Rajiv Gandhi was granted India’s highest civilian honor Bharat Ratna after his death in 1991. Following the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi by Sikh bodyguards in 1984, anti-Sikh riots broke out in several parts of Delhi. The rampaging mob burnt houses, looted shops, raped women and set people ablaze. The violence left nearly 3,000 people dead.
The controversy erupted after AAP leader and Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba were reportedly asked to resign on Friday after she refused to support a resolution in the Assembly that called for revoking Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Lamba, who left the Congress in 2013 to join AAP, had reportedly walked out of the House after refusing to give her support to the resolution. However, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia clarified that Lamba was not asked to resign.