Tytler, Sajjan should have themselves quit: Khushwant Singh (With Image)April 15th, 2009 - 12:35 am ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, named in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases, should have themselves withdrawn their election candidature before the Congress asked them do so after pressure from the Sikh community, says veteran journalist and novelist Khushwant Singh.
“I was hoping that they would withdraw from the polls themselves instead of waiting for the Congress to give in to pressure by the Sikhs. They should not have been given tickets to contest the polls in the first place,” Singh, 94, told IANS in the capital Tuesday.
The occasion was the launch of his book, “Why I Supported The Emergency - Essays and Profiles”, a Penguin Books India publication, compiled and edited by Sheela Reddy.
Tytler and Kumar were nominated by the Congress to contest the Lok Sabha elections but both withdrew last week following protests from the Sikh community.
“Hundreds of people saw them in action during the riots even if their versions differ now. The Nanavati Commission makes it clear that a riot accused cannot contest an election unless proved innocent and should not be given tickets,” Singh said.
Recalling the days of violence in the aftermath of then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards, Singh said he was still very upset that the 1984 riots should have happened at all.
“I had to seek refuge at the Swedish embassy and felt like a refugee in my own country,” he recalled.
Asked about the probable outcome of the election, he said: “It is all guesswork. But I somehow hope that the Congress will return to power with a bigger and a stronger majority.”
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