New Delhi: Amid continuing protests by Sikh outfits against the acquittal of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in a 1984 riots case, the Delhi government on Monday accused BJP and SAD (Badal) of trying to incite the community to gain political mileage in Assembly polls slated later this year.
Delhi`s Minister in charge of Gurdwara Affairs Arvinder Singh Lovely said if the two parties were really serious about the issue, then they should go to higher courts challenging Kumar`s acquittal rather than holding demonstrations.
"BJP and SAD (Badal) are inciting people on the issue to gain political mileage. These two parties never cared for the Sikh community. They do not have any sympathy for Sikhs. Otherwise they would have approached the higher court challenging the verdict," Lovely told a news agency.
The Sikh groups have been holding demonstrations across the city and in parts of Punjab for the last few days protesting acquittal of Kumar in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
Delhi has around 12 lakh Sikh voters and their support is considered crucial in eight to 10 constituencies in West Delhi.
"If BJP is so concerned, then why not a single BJP worker came out as witness in the riot cases in the last 20 years. Congress has always been with Sikhs. The Prime Minister had already apologised for the riots. Nobody is a better well wisher of Sikhs then Sonia Gandhi," Lovely, who is also Urban Development and Revenue Minister, said.
Alleging that the NDA regime had done nothing to ensure justice to the victims of the riots, Lovely said the Shiromani Akali Dal government in Punjab had even failed to spend around Rs 144 crore out of Rs 500 crore sanctioned by the UPA government for various welfare schemes for the victims.
"I had also experienced the trauma of the riots. Every Sikh and Indians feel the pain of 1984 riots. But what will you gain by holding the protests. BJP and SAD (Badal) are politicising a very sensitive issue. The common Sikhs are not with the parties as they are aware of the motive of these two parties," he said.
"Prosecution of all the accused got delayed during the NDA regime. They never pursued the cases seriously. Congress never shielded anybody involved in the riots," he said.