Rivals rake up his alleged role in 1984 anti-Sikh riots
Senior Congress leader Kamal Nath resigned as the party’s general secretary in charge of Punjab on Wednesday, a post he was given just two days ago, after the Aam Aadmi Party, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party accused him of involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
In his resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Nath said “certain elements” were raking up the 1984 riots and pinning charges on him for “political gains.”
“I am a practitioner of Nehruvian politics, and maligning of the Congress with false accusations is unacceptable to me. I wish the party to focus on the upcoming Assembly elections and highlighting the issues of misgovernance, misery of farmers and youth, the break-down of law and order and rampant drug trade that caused untold misery to the people of Punjab,” he said in the letter.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told journalists that Ms. Gandhi accepted the resignation. Mr. Nath will continue to be general secretary in charge of Haryana.
In his letter to Ms. Gandhi, Mr. Nath said, “I request that I may be relieved of my charge [of Punjab] to ensure that the attention is not diverted from the real issues facing Punjab.” He said he was “hurt by the developments of the past few days wherein an unnecessary controversy has been created around the tragic 1984 riots in New Delhi.”
Mr. Nath said there was no complaint or FIR against him in the riots case and “this canard is therefore nothing but a cheap political ploy to gain traction ahead of the elections....”