Hours after he took oath as Madhya Pradesh chief minister, Congress leader Kamal Nath on Monday hit out at his critics opposing his appointment, over allegations of his involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Coincidently, Nath took oath on a day when senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was sentenced to life after being held guilty in the riot case by Delhi High Court.
“When I had taken oath earlier, nobody said anything. The issue (1984 anti-Sikh riots) is being raked up despite no case, FIR or chargesheet filed against me,” the CM said.
Suspecting a political conspiracy behind the protests, the nine-time MP from Chhindwara said, “You can understand the politics behind this. Did eyewitness tell you (about my involvement)?”
The Congress leader was absolved by the Nanavati Commission over his alleged role in the riots. He had, however, stepped down as the party’s Punjab in-charge in 2016 in the wake of the accusations against him.
Victims of the 1984-anti Sikh riots in Punjab, on the other hand, have been protesting ever since Nath was named as the CM candidate by the Congress. The protesters demanded that the party roll back its decision and also sought Chief Minister Amarinder Singh’s intervention in the case.
The families, which staged a protest under the banner of 1984 Sikh Katle-Aam Peerat Welfare Society (Punjab) earlier this week, said that Congress will have to pay the price for this decision during 2019 Lok Sabha polls if it did not take back the decision.
The Shiromani Akali Dal had also launched a sharp attack on the party and said that the Congress was “rubbing salt into the wounds of the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots”.