New Delhi: The BJP on Monday targeted Congress President Rahul Gandhi over his choice of Chief Minister for Madhya Pradesh. Speaking to media, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “Rahul Gandhi should resign as Congress’ chief. Kamal Nath ji’s name crops up along with the 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.” (Also read: Sajjan Kumar Convicted in 1984 Anti-Sikh Riots, Gets Life Term) Also Read - Bengal Polls: EC Curtails Campaign Timing Up To 7 PM, Silence Period Extended From 48 Hours to 72 Hours
Patra was talking about Nath’s alleged involvement in the anti-Sikh riots following then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her own security guards. It was alleged that during the immolation of two Sikhs outside the Rakabgunj Gurudwara, Kamal Nath was present in the area. Also Read - Stage 1 Impose Tughlaqi Lockdown...: Rahul Gandhi Slams Govt's COVID-19 Strategy
However, the Nanavati Commission, led by a retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India, appointed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee in May 2000, investigated the riots. The commission felt the allegations lacked evidence so Nath was not charged. Also Read - Mamata Banerjee Urges EC To Merge Remaining Phases of Bengal Polls Into One Amid COVID Cases Surge
The affidavit that Patra was referring to was the one by a journalist. In his affidavit to the Nanavati Commission and later to Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission, journalist Sanjay Suri, had said who that on 1 November, 1984, a day after Indira’s assassination, Suri had gone to the Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib to assess the deteriorating law and order situation.
He claimed that Nath was controlling the ‘blood-thirsty’ crowd and was a spectator of the atrocities on Sikh devotees in the Gurudwara. He said cops and paramilitary forces were also mute spectators.
Meanwhile, a Delhi BJP leader began an indefinite hunger strike against Kamal Nath being nominated for the CM’s post, alleging that the Congress leader was involved in the anti-Sikh riots.
Tejinder Pal Singh Bagga started his hunger strike at Tilak Nagar in west Delhi where several families affected in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots live.
Protesting the Congress’s move, he said, “I am sitting on an indefinite hunger strike against Rahul Gandhi’s decision to nominate him as CM. He (Nath) is the same person who was involved in the riots against Sikhs in Delhi.” He said his hunger strike will continue till Nath is replaced by someone else as chief minister of Madhya Pradesh.