A day after Jagdish Tytler, Congress candidate from Northeast Delhi Parliamentary seat got the clean chit from the CBI, leaders in the city unit of the Congress said they did not see this impacting the Lok Sabha elections adversely.
While some quarters said the Sikh were not a big enough vote bank in Delhi to swing the poll results, others said the protests against the CBI deposition were politically motivated.
“An autonomous body has given Tytler a clean chit. There have been no cases against him in court; only the Nanavati Commission had taken up the issue. We know the protests are politically manipulated. The BJP is our political opposition and everybody knows that they are instigating these protests,” said Jai Prakash Aggarwal, Delhi Congress chief.
Aggarwal felt the common Sikh voters did not harbour any ill will towards the party. Some leaders within the party, however, felt that the timing of the clean chit would create problems in Parliamentary seats that have pockets with Sikh majority or are BJP strongholds.
Delhi BJP leaders are already planning to make it a poll issue. “The very fact that Congress announced Jagdish Tytler’s candidature from North-East Delhi just a few weeks before the CBI verdict goes on to show that the Congress is hand-in-glove with the investigating agency. The verdict has hurt the sentiment of Sikh across the country. And we will condemn it in our campaign,” said OP Kohli, Delhi state BJP president.
VK Malhotra, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly said, “We just can’t keep silent on this issue. The timing of the CBI verdict is very questionable. It raises a number of question about CBI’s credibility.”
The Shiromani Akali Dal has also come out in the open condemning the Congress and the CBI verdict. “Rahul Gandhi, during his last trip to Punjab, had categorically said the Congress would not give tickets to the accused of 1984 riots. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also said on the floor of the House that people responsible for anti-sikh carnage would definitely be punished,” said Manjit Singh, Delhi president, SAD.
Protest by Sikhs
Protesting against the CBI giving a clean chit to the former Union minister Jagdish Tytler in a 1984 anti-sikh riot case, six members of the Shiromani Gurugwara Prabandhak Committee tried to immolate themselves on Friday. The police detained all of them before they could immolate themselves.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) staged a chakka jam near Jail Road in west Delhi.