New Delhi: The Delhi Assembly on Friday passed a resolution demanding that Bharat Ratna awarded to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi be withdrawn over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, which it termed as a ‘genocide’. The resolution, which was moved by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Jarnail Singh, was passed by a voice vote in the House.
“We raised the demand in the House, it doesn’t matter if there was a technical mistake in it,” Singh said.
However, AAP spokesperson and MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj claimed that the resolution was not passed by the House. “Lines about Late Rajiv Gandhi were not part of resolution placed before house and distributed to the members. One MLA in his handwriting proposed an addition/amendment about Late Rajiv Gandhi. Amendments cannot be passed in this manner,” he said.
Rajiv Gandhi, who took over the reins of the party and the government following his mother’s demise, was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, in 1991.
The Delhi government should ‘strongly’ convey in writing to the Union Home Ministry (MHA) that justice continues to elude the families and near-dear ones of the victims of the worst “genocide” in the history of India’s national capital, the resolution said.
The House directed the government to impress upon the MHA that it should take all important and necessary steps to specifically include crimes against humanity and genocide in India’s domestic criminal laws, as recommended by the Delhi High Court in its recent landmark judgment sentencing Sajjan Kumar and other convicts to life imprisonment in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Reacting to the development, the Delhi unit of Congress dubbed AAP as the ‘B team’ of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which was showing its true colours.
Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken asserted that Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed his life for the country, in reply to ruling party’s attacks on the former prime minister in the House, and a resolution that demanded taking back the country’s highest civilian award bestowed on him.
“Sh. Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed his life for the country.True colours of AAP have come out in the open! I have always believed that AAP is the B team of BJP! AAP fielded candidates in Goa,Punjab,MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh just to cut the votes of Congress and help the BJP (sic),” Maken said in reply to a tweet.
The development comes at a time when there are speculations of possibility of an alliance between the AAP and the Congress in Delhi for Lok Sabha Elections 2019.
(Inputs from PTI)