Amarinder defends Congress dropping Tytler, Sajjan

April 11th, 2009 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Chandigarh, April 11 (IANS) Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh Saturday defended the Congress’ decision to drop Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar as its candidates for the Lok Sabha elections following protests against them by Sikhs.
Addressing the media here, Amarinder Singh said the Congress responded on the issue keeping in mind the sensitivity of the minority Sikh community.

“The Congress has responded to the sensitivity of the issue that involved the Sikh community, a minority. This is for the first time in our country that any national party has responded after keeping in mind the interests of minorities,” Singh told reporters.

Amarinder Singh criticised the state’s ruling Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine for politicising the issue.

“Now we should let the court decide on this issue. We have a system in the country so let that system work. I agree that the legal process here is a long one. It is unfortunate. but I am hopeful of speedy justice,” he added.

Tytler and Kumar have been accused of having incited mobs to attack Sikhs during the riots in the aftermath of then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984.

Though the party had nominated them from two of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, they were dropped following protests.

Condemning the Akalis for raking up the issue, Amarinder said, “This is a 25-year old case and is still under the jurisdiction of court. Both Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar were members of the Lok Sabha for the last 10 years but (Akali Dal president) Sukhbir Badal, who was also a member of the house, never objected or raised questions against them.

“Now just because CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has given a clean chit to them, the opposition is trying to play political gimmicks. At present, the opposition does not have any concrete issue, that is why they are blowing this issue out of proportion.”

Amarinder Singh said he had, during a recent meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, briefed her about the reaction of people in Punjab to the controversy surrounding Tytler and Kumar. “I did not advise or direct her about anything,” he added.

He said that the Akalis and the BJP were not ready to take any action against Varun Gandhi, the BJP nominee from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, who made deragatory remarks against Muslims and Sikhs.

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