- POINTS OUT THAT RIOTS HAD ALREADY BROKEN OUT BY THE TIME RAJIV ARRIVED IN DELHI
Chandigarh, February 11
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has assailed the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for resorting to desperate measures to malign Rajiv Gandhi through false propaganda aimed at wrongly implicating the former Prime Minister in riots that took place more than three decades ago.
Lashing out at SAD president Sukhbir Badal for questioning Rajiv Gandhi’s role in the riots, the Chief Minister ridiculed the persistent efforts of the Akali leaders to defame the former Prime Minister, pointing out that Indira Gandhi’s elder son was not even present in Delhi when the violence broke out.
Rajiv was in Contai, some 150 kms from Kolkata (then Calcutta), on an election tour of West Bengal, Captain Amarinder pointed out, accusing Sukhbir of blatantly and deliberately misinterpreting Jagdish Tytler’s statements in a TV interview. The Chief Minister also flayed Sukhbir for trying to link Rajiv Gandhi with a sting operation which Tytler had already dismissed as being a doctored video.
It was a matter of record that by the time Rajiv returned to Delhi, after being informed of his mother’s assassination, rioting had already erupted, said the Chief Minister, pointing out that nowhere, and at no point in time, had Tytler ever implicated Rajiv in the riots, as was being alleged by Sukhbir.
In his interview Tytler had, in fact, categorically stated that Rajiv went around with him to try and control the situation, which had seriously escalated by the time he was sworn in as prime minister. Rajiv had issued clear instructions to all party MLAs to go back to their constituencies and defuse the situation at any cost, said Captain Amarinder.
Further, media reports in the wake of the riots had shown that Rajiv had unequivocally condemned the violence and warned of stringent action against anyone found to be indulging in communal violence.
After their botched attempts to spread false propaganda by misconstruing Tytler’s TV interview, the Akalis were now taking refuge in a video, which the Congress leader had categorically rejected as metamorphosed, in a desperate bid to give credence to their fabrication, said the Chief Minister.
Lambasting Sukhbir for trying to fan passions by taking certain portions of Tytler’s statement out of context, Captain Amarinder termed it as the height of irresponsible behavior. Had there been any involvement of Rajiv in the riots, the same would have been exposed long back, said Captain Amarinder, adding that the fact was that the Akalis had not even an iota of evidence to back their reprehensible charges against Rajiv.