1984 riots: Amarinder flays Akalis, says Sukhbir trying to malign Rajiv Gandhi

He flayed the SAD chief for trying to link Rajiv with a sting operation which Tytler had already dismissed as being a doctored video.

punjab Updated: Feb 11, 2018 21:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Amarinder Singh,1984 riots,Rajiv Gandhi
Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.(HT File )

Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has assailed the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for resorting to desperate measures to malign former Rajiv Gandhi through “false propaganda” aimed at wrongly implicating the former prime minister in riots that took place more than three decades ago.

Lashing out at SAD president Sukhbir Badal for questioning Rajiv’s role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the chief minister ridiculed the efforts of the Akali leaders to defame the former PM, stating that he was not even present in Delhi when the violence broke out. Rajiv was in Contai, some 150km from Kolkata (then Calcutta), on an election tour of West Bengal, Amarinder pointed out, accusing Sukhbir of blatantly and deliberately misinterpreting senior Congress leader Jagdish Tytler’s statements in a TV interview.

He flayed the SAD chief for trying to link Rajiv with a sting operation which Tytler had already dismissed as being a doctored video. “It is a matter of record that by the time Rajiv returned to Delhi, after being informed of his mother’s assassination, rioting had already erupted,” said the chief minister, pointing out that nowhere, and at no point in time, had Tytler ever implicated Rajiv in the riots, as was being alleged by Sukhbir.

In his interview, Tytler had stated that Rajiv went around with him to try and control the situation, which had seriously escalated by the time he was sworn in as the PM. Rajiv had issued clear instructions to all party MLAs to go back to their constituencies and defuse the situation at any cost, he said.

The CM said after their botched attempts to spread false propaganda by misconstruing Tytler’s TV interview, the Akalis were now taking refuge in the video in a desperate bid to give credence to their fabrication. He also accused the Akalis of playing into the hands of divisive forces that were once again raising their head in an effort to destroy Punjab’s peace and stability.

First Published: Feb 11, 2018 21:48 IST