NEW DELHI: Soon after the Delhi High Court convicted Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, a war of words has begun between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress. The BJP has attacked the Congress alleging that it is not just the indictment of Kumar but of the party as well. The BJP also targetted the Congress for making Kamal Nath the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh alleging that he had a role to play in the 1984 riots case.
Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of Kamal Nath, the BJP sought the sacking of the Pradesh Chief Minister-designate in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. "It's an irony that the verdict in the 1984 riots case has come on a day when one of the other leaders who has been accused in the carnage is being made the Chief Minister of a state by the Congress," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
Recalling the riots, he said that the judgement is a welcome step for those who witnessed it. "For many of us who are witnesses, it was perhaps the worst kind of genocide that we ever saw. Congress governments in that period repeatedly indulged in coverup exercises. The coverups are now being defeated. Sajjan Kumar was a symbol of 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The legacy of 1984 anti-Sikh riots hangs around the neck of Congress and Gandhi family," he said.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra even sought Rahul Gandhi's resignation as Congress chief after the judgement. "Rahul Gandhi should resign as Congress chief. Kamal Nath ji's name crops up along with affidavit and evidence in a report submitted to Nanavati Commission. A man involved in anti-Sikh riots has been made the MP CM. Rahul Gandhi must expel him from the party," he said.
However, in no mood to give in to the BJP, the Congress hit back at the saffron party reminding them of the 2002 Gujarat riots. If we are talking about Kamal Nath's role, those sitting at the top in the government should also be investigated. If Arun Jaitley is levelling allegations, we will also have questions to the ask from the Prime Minister. We can also ask what happened in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh encounter case, or in the probe of Judge Loya's death. I would just ask them to not give it a political colour," Congress leader Kapil Sibbal said.
Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Tejinder Pal Singh Bagga is sitting on a hunger strike to protest against Kamal Nath's appointment as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. Nath is scheduled to be sworn in as chief minister in Bhopal later in the day.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi HC convicted Sajjan Kumar for conspiracy to commit murder in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case and sentenced him to life imprisonment. He was held guilty for promoting enmity and acts against communal harmony.
Asking him to surrender by December 31, the HC said that Kumar will remain in jail for the remainder of his life. The conviction of five others -- former Congress councillor Balwan Khokhar, retired naval officer Captain Bhagmal, Girdhari Lal, former MLAs Mahender Yadav and Kishan Khokhar -- were also upheld by the HC.