Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Jarnail Singh Saturday clarified that the resolution passed in the Delhi Assembly on Friday did not include a demand that former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi be stripped of the Bharat Ratna for justifying the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. “It was my feeling and I said it. Technically, it wasn’t in the notice,” Singh was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Meanwhile, AAP MLA Alka Lamba said that she is not quitting the party, putting to rest reports that party chief Arvind Kejriwal has sought her resignation after she disagreed with the resolution. Earlier, AAP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had said, “No resignation has been sought and from no one, all these are rumours,” he told reporters.
The explanation from the two leaders came a day after a massive crisis broke out within AAP over the resolution which was introduced in the Delhi Assembly. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj had on Friday claimed that the resolution did not contain the part on Rajiv. “Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti added the line on his own. It was his demand,” he had said.
Sources had also said that disciplinary action was ordered against Bharti and Lamba. Lamba had told The Indian Express, “The party chief has officially asked me to resign. I haven’t so far but I am ready to do so in the morning. The party was in favour of passing the resolution asking for the return of the Bharat Ratna awarded to Rajiv Gandhi. I disagreed with that… I put out two lines (on Twitter). The party asked me to delete the two lines and I did…”
Bharti was not available for comment.
The text of the resolution, passed following a two-day discussion and amended at the last minute, had stated: “This House also resolves that the Bharat Ratna awarded to former PM Rajiv Gandhi, who justified the 1984 massacre, be withdrawn by the Centre.” The resolution also came amid speculation on the possibility of AAP and Congress reaching an understanding for the 2019 general elections.
Reacting to the resolution, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken had told The Indian Express, “It is unfortunate that such a resolution has been passed against a person who sacrificed his life for the country. It once again establishes that the AAP and the BJP are no different from each other.”
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