As members of the Sikh community protest the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 riot case, political tempers, cutting across party lines, are also soaring. And all this may have a bearing in the upcoming Delhi assembly elections slated for November.
The BJP and the Akalis have already upped the ante. “At the behest of their political masters, the CBI and Delhi Police failed to do their duty and build strong cases. We will hold a massive rally at Talkatora Stadium on May 4 and raise the issue. Congress will pay for its deeds in the coming elections,” Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel said.
Manjeet Singh GK, leader of Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), said, “There is huge anger in the Sikh community against the Congress. We will teach the Congress a lesson in the elections.”
Manjeet had recently led the Delhi unit of SAD-Badal to victory in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections, defeating Congress-backed Paramjit Singh Sarna and his SAD (Delhi).
Manjeet was chosen president of the cash-rich DSGMC and can attract Sikh voters through his influence on gurdwaras and various charitable establishments in Delhi.
There are only 12-14 lakh Sikhs in Delhi against the Capital’s total population of 1.67 crore. But the 7-8 lakh Sikh voters can swing results in at least 10 assembly constituencies.
Assembly segments with sizeable Sikh population are: Moti Nagar, Rajouri Garden, Tilak Nagar Hari Nagar, Janakpuri and Patel Nagar in the west, Jangpura, Greater Kailash and Kalkaji in the south and Timarpur in the north.
Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit, however, said the issue was being politicised. “If some people are not satisfied with the court verdict, they always have the option to appeal in a higher court,” she said.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Tuesday: “Sajjan Kumar’s acquittal is a slap on Indian justice system. Investigation, prosecution and judiciary colluded with the guilty.”
The Congress also says it’s battle-ready. “Congress has nothing to do with what courts do. Why didn’t BJP form an SIT when it was in power? We will benefit from this propaganda. Non-Akalis will vote for us,” said a senior Delhi Congress leader.