Haunted by 1984, Kamal Nath gave up charge of Punjab assigned to him three days ago.
Coming down heavily on Congress leader Kamal Nath after he resigned as the party's in-charge of Punjab affairs, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader HS Phoolka on Thursday said the former resigned fearing action in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
"When he got to know that if case reopens he will be punished, he resigned from his post. But his resignation won't end the murder charges. He should be given punishment for his deeds. We will pursue this matter so that he gets punishment," Phoolka told ANI.
Further escalating his attack, Phoolka said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh are shielding Kamal Nath.
"I challenge Badal that if you are not shielding Badal, then if the SIT has opened 75 cases, why is the case of Kamal Nath not opened. It should be opened immediately because the attack on Gurudwara Rakabganj Sahib is not a minor issue. This case should be reopened and within two months investigation should be completed and chargesheet should be issued against Kamal Nath," he added.
Echoing similar sentiments, another AAP leader Ashutosh told ANI that Kamal Nath's resignation proved that the grand old party had accepted its involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
"This was continuously being said by the Aam Aadmi Party that by making him the in-charge of Punjab affairs, you don't care about the people of the state. The Aam Aadmi Party has strongly opposed to it. There should be a probe in regard to his involvement in the massacre and the truth should get revealed and he should be punished," he added.
Kamal Nath resigned as the party's general secretary in-charge of Punjab yesterday, a post he was given just two days ago, after the AAP, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused him of involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
In a letter addressed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi yesterday, Kamal Nath requested her to relieve him from his duties so that the attention of the party is not diverted from the real issues such as the 'rampant drug trade' in Punjab.
Hoping that the party focuses on the upcoming elections rather than the furore over his appointment, he added that the Congress must highlight the issues of misgovernance, misery of farmers and youth, break down of law and order and rampant drug trade that caused misery to the people of Punjab.
Several state Congress leaders and Nath himself had claimed that he had been absolved by the Nanavati Commission that probed the killings, which had followed the assassination of the then prime minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, by her Sikh bodyguards. But the emotive issue could have rocked the boat of the Congress in the assembly elections that are barely six months away.
Immediately since the appointment, the SAD, its partner BJP and the AAP were unsparing in their attack on Nath, who had admitted before the commission that he was present outside Gurdwara Rakabganj when a mob had set it on fire after killing a father-son duo on November 1, 1984.