1984 Sikh riots: Congress leader Kamal Nath defends himself, says 'Nanavati Commission set up by BJP absolved me of all charges'

Congress party loyalist and senior leader Kamal Nath, who was appointed as in-charge of party affairs in Punjab and Haryana, on Monday refuted Bhartiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party's charges of party's insensitivity towards Sikhs.

Updated: Jun 13, 2016, 13:51 PM IST
1984 Sikh riots: Congress leader Kamal Nath defends himself, says 'Nanavati Commission set up by BJP absolved me of all charges'

Chandigrh: Congress party loyalist and senior leader Kamal Nath, who was appointed as in-charge of party affairs in Punjab and Haryana, on Monday refuted Bhartiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party's charges of party's insensitivity towards Sikhs.

Kamal Nath was speaking to a News18 reporter when he said, "The Nanavati Commission set up by the BJP government in its report has absolved me of any charge in 1984 anti-Sikh riots. For 21 years, my name figured nowhere. There were no charges, no allegations of my participation in Sikh massacre in any manner. Even the Akali Dal didn't level a charge against me all these years. Now, allegations of my involvement in '84 Sikh riots suddenly come up. People of Punjab know the truth and are intelligent enough to understand why these allegations are coming up now.

Taking a jibe at Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, Nath said, "The AAP is indulging in political propaganda. It doesn't know what they are talking about."  

Kamal Nath has been indicted by the Nanavati Commission on allegations that he was involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that led at least 3,325 people dead. Delhi alone accounted for 2,733 deaths while the rest occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states.

On Sunday, AAP leader and senior lawmaker HS Phoolka had told ANI, "Giving charge of Punjab elections to Kamal Nath shows Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's insensitivity towards the Sikhs. Proves the Congress is unfit to lead Punjab."

Phoolka also added that Nath was the one leader, who was leading the mob at Gurudwara Rakabganj Sahib on November 1, 1984 when the mob set the Gurduwara on fire.

The Punjab Assembly elections next year are expected to be a tough electoral battle between the ruling BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) alliance, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress.

Now, at a time when the Congress is looking to arrest the downslide in its political fortunes, the appointment of senior party leader Kamal Nath as in-charge of the party's Punjab affairs has triggered a massive controversy.