Under attack over 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Congress leader Kamal Nath resigns as party in-charge of Punjab

Congress leader Kamal Nath had been attacked by Akali Dal, BJP and AAP over his alleged role in the anti-Sikh riots which followed the assassination of Indira Gandhi. 

Updated: Jun 16, 2016, 00:59 AM IST
Under attack over 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Congress leader Kamal Nath resigns as party in-charge of Punjab
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Delhi: Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath on Wednesday night resigned as party in-charge of Punjab in view of a 'canard regarding the 1984 anti-Sikh riots'.

He wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi who immediately accepted his resignation and relieved him.

Soon after, party spokesman Randeep Surjewala said that Congress president had accepted Nath's resignation as AICC general secretary.

"Kamal Nath has tendered his resignation from the responsibilities assigned to him in AICC. On his request, Congress president Sonia Gandhi has accepted his resignation," Surjewala said. 

In his letter, Nath has written - "I've been hurt by developments of past few days wherein unnecessary controversy has been created around the 1984 riots in Delhi. Till 2005 not single public statement or FIR was made against me and first time my name was mentioned in any forum was 21 years after 1984."

"This canard is nothing but a cheap political ploy to gain traction ahead of the elections. I request, I may be relieved of my charge to ensure that attention isn't diverted from the real issues facing Punjab," the Congress leader added. 

Expressing gratitude to Gandhi for appointing him as general secretary in-charge of Punjab, the Congress leader wrote, "I am practitioner of Nehruvian politics and maligning of the Congress party using false accusations is unacceptable to me. I wish the party to focus on the upcoming elections and highlight the issues of mis-governance, misery of the farmers and youth, break down of law and order and rampant drug trade that caused untold misery to the people of Punjab," as per PTI.

The Nanavati Commission set up by the previous NDA government "after proper investigation fully absolved me", he further said.

"Even during a subsequent motion, to discuss the commission's report in Parliament, none of the AKali-BJP MPs including Sukhbir Singh Badal mentioned my name," he said.

Reacting to the developments, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, "Way he (Kamal Nath) has tendered his resignation it's clear that he was somewhere guilty in 1984 riots," as per ANI.

Nath's step came as Akali Dal, BJP and AAP had kept up attack on him and the Congress over his alleged role in the anti-Sikh riots which followed the assassination of former PM Indira Gandhi.

Describing his appointment as 'sprinkling of salt on wounds' of Sikhs, the three parties were set to rake up the issue in the run-up to the Assembly polls slated next year.

Ghulam Nabi Azad and Nath were on June 12 appointed general secretaries in-charge of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

Azad, 67, is a Gandhi family loyalist and a former CM of Jammu and Kashmir.

On the other hand, 69-year-old Nath is the senior-most MP in the current Lok Sabha having won from his pocket borough of Chhindwara nine times.

(With Agency inputs)