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1984 riot package a drop in ocean: Rajnath

Rajnath accuses UPA government of not being sensitive to the suffering of the 1984-riot victims.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2006 14:50 IST

The BJP today described the Centre's new Rs715-crore compensation for the 1984-riot victims as a "drop in the ocean" and accused the UPA government of a casual approach towards the riot survivors.

"This Rs 715-crore package is just a drop in the ocean. It shows the government is not as serious it should have been towards the suffering of the 1984-riot victims," new BJP chief Rajnath Singh told reporters.

Singh described the 1984 bloodshed as the "most unfortunate" event in independent India's history.

"It was not a riot, but a massacre, the most unfortunate event in Indian history," he said.

Singh's comments on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, his first after becoming president of the main Opposition party, came in the wake of the Centre's announcement of Rs 715-crore package to the victims of the carnage that broke out after the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.

"This is inadequate. The government should have offered them government jobs also. But it is just taking a casual approach toward the plight of the victims," Singh, whose party has an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), said.

The new BJP chief, flanked by Akali leaders Avtar Singh Hit and Onkar Singh Thapar, earlier paid obeisance at the gurdwara where he was presented with siropas, the Sikh stoles of honour. His visit to Bangla Sahib was a complete Akali reception as pro-Congress controllers of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) were not present during his arrival. Nor was the BJP chief offered the podium to address the congregation.

First Published: Jan 03, 2006 14:50 IST