Demanding that its recognition as a political party be scrapped for both “leading and protecting” the perpetrators of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the BJP on Monday welcomed the conviction of Sajjan Kumar and attacked the Congress.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, at a press conference, also questioned Congress national president Rahul Gandhi’s decision to elevate senior party hand Kamal Nath, also an accused in a case related to the riots, to the Chief Minister’s chair in Madhya Pradesh. The BJP also staged a protest near the Congress headquarters against Mr. Nath, where his effigy was burnt.
“Though there has been a delay, the judiciary has once again proved that nobody is above the law of the land. Today’s judgment proves that and the party, while welcoming the decision, hopes that the other accused in the case, including senior leaders of the Congress, will also be awarded stern punishment so that the victims of the massacre are able to renew their faith in the system,” Mr. Tiwari said.
“The Congress president talks about morality in politics but he has himself selected Mr. Nath, who is also an accused in the case, to be the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh... The Congress and its leaders have not only committed crimes against the Sikhs, but also against the country. The recognition of the Congress party, which has given protection to these criminals should be cancelled,” Mr. Tiwari said further.
The North-East Delhi MP, arguing that 2,733 Sikhs were brutally murdered in Delhi and 3,350 Sikhs were “killed by Congress leaders in the entire country”, said the party still “fielded them in the elections and offered them high posts” that was “sufficient to prove” extent to which the Congress was “ready to save the people who committed crime against the Sikhs”.
The party’s national general secretary Sardar R.P. Singh alleged that Mr. Gandhi, by appointing Mr. Nath who had “provoked a mob assembled at Rakabganj Gurdwara” as the Chief Minister, had added “insult to the injury of Sikhs for which the community will not forgive him”.
Meanwhile, protesters, including members from families targeted during the riots attempted to march from the Taj Mansingh Hotel towards the Congress headquarters on Akbar Road, but were stopped en route by the police.
“There are witnesses against Mr. Nath who led the mob during the anti-Sikh riots. Still Mr. Gandhi chose to make him the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, thereby opening the old wounds of the victims and their families,” alleged Delhi BJP vice-president Rajeev Babbar, who led the protest.
Delhi Congress has refused to comment on the issue.