The Congress on Thursday came to the rescue of senior party leader Kamal Nath after he resigned as the in-charge of Punjab affairs and said that it was necessary to divert the people’s attention from ‘old wounds’ of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots to the prevailing issues at present.
Stating that the 1984 riots, which was a stigma on the nation, should never have taken place, Congress leader Ashwani Kumar said Kamal Nath’s resignation is a right step.
“The party has accepted his resignation, not because Kamal Nath is guilty but because one shouldn’t reopen old wound. Today, it is required to forget those wounds and try to heal them. In this context, I think his resignation is right,” he told ANI.
The former union minister further said the main issues in Punjab today are good administration, drugs and unemployment. “This is clear that there is no FIR on Kamal Nath or any charges or any court has convicted him guilty in the 1984 riots.
The issue of 1984 riots is very sensitive, especially at the time of state assembly elections,” he added. Resonating similar sentiments, another Congress leader J.P.
Agarwal told ANI that there was no pressure from the party behind Kamal Nath’s resignation, adding the latter himself volunteered not to remain in the post. “There was no allegation against him. He is a very senior person.
He had a wonderful journey in politics. We are clea we haven’t done anything wrong,” he added. Kamal Nath, whose appointment had drawn sharp criticisms from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), yesterday stepped down as the general secretary in-charge of the party’s Punjab Affairs following a controversy over his alleged role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
In a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Kamal Nath requested her to relieve him from his duties so that the attention of the party is not diverted from real issues such as the ‘rampant drug trade’ in Punjab. “Certain elements are raking up these issues now only for political gains.
I am touched by the support shown by our party workers and leaders in Punjab in rejecting the false accusations. I am a practitioner of Nehruvian politics and maligning of the Congress party using false accusations is unacceptable to me,” Nath said in the letter.
Hoping that the party focuses on the upcoming elections rather than the furore over his appointment, he added the Congress must highlight the issues of misgovernance, misery of farmers and youth, break down of law and order and rampant drug trade in Punjab.
“Given this, I request that I may be relieved of my charge to ensure that the attention is not diverted from the real issues facing Punjab,” he said.