Congress leader Kamal Nath resigned as the party’s Punjab in-charge.(HT Photo)
Congress leader Kamal Nath resigned as the party’s Punjab in-charge.(HT Photo)

Kamal Nath quits as Congress’ Punjab in-charge over 1984 riots allegations

Congress general secretary Kamal Nath tendered his resignation as the party’s Punjab affairs in-charge to national president Sonia Gandhi. She has accepted it, according to party spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala.
By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON JUN 16, 2016 12:15 AM IST

Facing fire over his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Congress general secretary Kamal Nath on Wednesday quit as the party’s Punjab affairs in-charge, just three days after he was given the post.

The state unit too got a sigh of relief as the news of the former Union minister asking party president Sonia Gandhi to relieve him of the charge came in late evening. Party spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala confirmed that she had accepted his resignation from the post.

Several state Congress leaders and Nath himself had claimed that he had been absolved by the Nanavati Commission that probed the killings, which had followed the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, by her Sikh bodyguards. But the emotive issue could have rocked the boat of the Congress in the assembly elections that are barely six months away.

Immediately since the appointment, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), its partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) were unsparing in their attack on Nath, who had admitted before the commission that he was present outside Gurdwara Rakabganj when a mob had set it on fire after killing a father-son duo on November 1, 1984.

Though state unit chief Capt Amarinder Singh put up a belated defence for Nath at a press conference on Tuesday — and Nath too claimed he had been at the gurdwara “to save Sikhs” — the party was at unease over the appointment as the ghost of 1984 came back to haunt it again after 32 years at a time when it’s dreading a third loss in a row in Punjab.

Nath, in his letter to Sonia on Wednesday, hit out at the SAD and AAP, saying that certain elements were raking up the issue to “malign the party for political gains”. “The Nanavati Commission set up by the NDA regime had absolved me. Even during a subsequent motion to discuss the commission’s report in Parliament, none of the Akali-BJP MPs, including (now deputy chief minister and SAD president) Sukhbir Badal, mentioned my name. Never in my long political career has any stigma been attached to my name,” he wrote.

“This canard is a cheap political ploy to gain traction before elections. The party has to focus on rampant drug abuse, misgovernance (sic), breakdown of law and order and misery of farmers and youth. I would like to be relieved of the responsibility to ensure attention is not diverted from the real issues facing Punjab,” the letter further read.

His replacement is likely to be announced within this week, it is learnt. His predecessor was Shakeel Ahmad..

Ahead of the assembly elections in politically important Uttar Pradesh and Punjab next year, the Congress had put senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Nath in charge of the party affairs in these two states on Sunday.

READ I What he said on ’84 riots: ‘I went to gurdwara to save Sikhs, not attack them’

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
HT Image
HT Image

2 cases of adverse reaction to vaccine reported in Pune dist

By Steffy Thevar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:45 PM IST
PUNE Pune district has reported two “serious” cases of adverse effects following the Covid-19 immunisation (AEFI), in which two female auxiliary nurses/midwives required hospital admission
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Pune dist reports 303 new Covid-19 cases, 4 deaths

By Namrata Devikar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:45 PM IST
PUNE The district reported 303 new Covid-19 cases and four deaths on Monday, according to the state health department
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Pune district’s positivity rate rises to 7.4%

By Steffy Thevar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:45 PM IST
PUNE The positivity rate of Pune district has increased to 7
Close
HT Image
HT Image

SII to dispatch Covishield to multiple countries by month-end

By Steffy Thevar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:44 PM IST
PUNE The city-based Serum Institute of India (SII), largest vaccine manufacturer, has provided 11 million Covishield doses to the central government
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Vaccination drive to resume in Punr from today

By Namrata Devikar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:44 PM IST
PUNE After a gap of two days, the Covid-19 inoculation drive will resume in the city and the rest of the district on Tuesday
Close
HT Image
HT Image

205 healthcare workers get Covid vaccine jab at NDA Khadakwasla

By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:43 PM IST
PUNE At least 205 healthcare and frontline workers were vaccinated at the National Defence Academy (NDA) Khadakwasla on Monday
Close
HT Image
HT Image

State’s three-tier sports plan for athletes aims to negate months lost to pandemic

By Jigar Hindocha
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 07:51 PM IST
PUNE After a pandemic-impacted year – the Maharashtra state sports department is ready to change gears as far as sporting activities go
Close
HT Image
HT Image

IMD to use three models to better weather forecasts

By Namrata Devikar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 06:22 PM IST
Pune: For more accurate weather forecasts in 2021, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) will be using data from three weather prediction models
Close
The Covid-19 vaccination centre at Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar wears a deserted look on Sunday after the process was suspended till Tuesday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)
The Covid-19 vaccination centre at Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar wears a deserted look on Sunday after the process was suspended till Tuesday. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

Vaccine here, but don’t let guard down: Mumbai civic body

By Mehul R Thakkar
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 05:23 PM IST
Immediate dip in daily case count unlikely, will take 3-4 months to see vaccine’s impact, say civic officials
Close
4 robbers held after encounter in Punjab’s border town of Patti; fifth dies of drug overdose
4 robbers held after encounter in Punjab’s border town of Patti; fifth dies of drug overdose

4 robbers held after encounter in Punjab’s border town of Patti; fifth dies of drug overdose

By Anil Sharma
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 05:22 PM IST
Two police personnel among six injured in firing; accused, who faced about 50 criminal cases, had committed six robberies in past 24 hours.
Close
When a person makes his/her Will, s/he is declaring how assets and properties are disbursed, and to whom, after his/her death. (GETTY IMAGES (FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY))
When a person makes his/her Will, s/he is declaring how assets and properties are disbursed, and to whom, after his/her death. (GETTY IMAGES (FOR REPRESENTATIONAL PURPOSE ONLY))

Five steps to creating and registering a Last Will & Testament

By Prachi Bari
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 05:02 PM IST
When a person makes his/her Will, s/he is declaring how assets and properties are disbursed, and to whom, after his/her death. The Will is a legal document. It can be handwritten, or typed, on any document and not just stamp paper.
Close
The 35-year-old woman and her sons, aged 12 and five, were found dead after the door to their room was forced open at Hamadwala Uttad village in Ferozepur district on Monday morning. (Representational image)
The 35-year-old woman and her sons, aged 12 and five, were found dead after the door to their room was forced open at Hamadwala Uttad village in Ferozepur district on Monday morning. (Representational image)

Mother, sons suffocated to death as they sleep with angithi in room

By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:55 PM IST
Three members of a family, including two children, died of suffocation as they slept with a coal-brazier (angithi) to keep themselves warm in a room at Hamadwala Uttad village in Ferozepur district on Sunday night
Close
Police take action against persons not wearing a mask at Mukundnagar in Pune in September, 2020. (HT)
Police take action against persons not wearing a mask at Mukundnagar in Pune in September, 2020. (HT)

Monday Musings: Should the police act or not? When the law is made to order

PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:40 PM IST
In Pune, as many as 28,000 people have violated rules such as not wearing masks, stepping out of home during curfew orders, and keeping shops open beyond deadlines. The police action has caused an uproar, says Yogesh Joshi
Close
The beating the retreat ceremony, a coordinated drill of the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers, was held on Independence Day last year without any spectators. (PTI file photo)
The beating the retreat ceremony, a coordinated drill of the Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers, was held on Independence Day last year without any spectators. (PTI file photo)

No spectators at Attari border on Republic Day amid Covid pandemic

By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:26 PM IST
BSF officials say decision on conducting coordinated parade with Pakistan at joint check post will be taken soon
Close
The boy's father, a labourer, is absconding. (Pardeep Pandit/HT Archive)
The boy's father, a labourer, is absconding. (Pardeep Pandit/HT Archive)

Hyderabad man sets 10-year-old son ablaze for not studying

PTI, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 04:01 PM IST
The boy suffered 60 per cent burns and is undergoing treatment in a government hospital
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP