Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday accused chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of playing “cheap politics” by linking his party’s state in-charge Kamal Nath with 1984 anti-Sikh riots. “Public perception should be based on truth and not myth,” Amarinder said while replying to a question that there was a public perception about Nath’s alleged involvement in the 1984 riots.
Addressing a press conference, Amarinder made it clear that the Congress was not going to be cowed down by the “fake and fictitious allegations” against its leaders by people such as Kejriwal, Badal or Phoolka. “Will Phoolka, Badal and Kejriwal decide who is guilty and who is not?” he asked.
He said Nath was the general secretary in-charge of Delhi in 1998 when Sheila Dixit formed the government. The local bodies were also swept by the Congress under Nath’s stewardship. “This could not be possible without the support of Sikhs. No Sikh in Delhi ever complained against him, except Phoolka, who has his own axe to grind,” he added.
The former CM added that Phoolka and his patron Kejriwal “have mastered the art of mudslinging” and levelling false allegations against people and then trying to get away with everything. “There has to be a stop to it,” he added.
Stating that Kamal Nath’s name was deliberately dragged by Phoolka into the controversy in 2006, he said the Congress general secretary was exonerated by the Justice Nanavati Commission, which had been constituted by the BJP-led NDA government to probe into the anti-Sikh riots.
Earlier, Amarinder said, the Justice Rangnath Mishra Commission made no mention of Nath about his alleged involvement in the riots.
Referring to CM Parkash Singh Badal’s criticism of Nath, Amarinder said: “Till now, neither Badal nor any Akali leader doubted Nath’s credentials. But now, Badal has woken up to the charges that Nath was involved in the anti-Sikh riots,” he said, adding that when Nath was a minister, Badal was a frequent visitor to his office.
FAZILKA JAIL MEET: CONG TO SEEK CBI PROBE AGAINST AKALIS
The Punjab Congress on Tuesday sought a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged meeting held by Akali leaders inside the Fazilka jail to broker peace between two warring gangs.
“The Akalis have now opened extension counters in jails to carry out their favourite activities”, state Congress vice-president Sunil Jakhar said in a press conference addressed along with Amarinder and other senior party leaders.
The Congress leaders said they would meet Union home minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi and apprise him about the happenings in Punjab and press for a CBI probe into the incident.
“The meeting in the Fazilka jail for brokering peace between two criminal gangs was held under the patronage of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal. Rozy Barqandi and Satinder Manta, who arranged the meeting, are close to Sukhbir,” Jakhar alleged, reiterating that Fazilka jail incident was just a tip of the iceberg as the entire law and order system had collapsed in the state.