Politics

Kamal Nath resigns as state-incharge of Punjab

18 Jun 2016 | By Mansi Motwani

Days after being appointed as Congress-incharge for the state of Punjab, Kamal Nath stepped down from his responsibilities.

Denying reports of being asked to resign because of the controversies surrounding him, he claimed that he did it so the real issues facing Punjab are not sidelined.

"I don't look at it as a sacrifice, I look at it as my duty", he said.

In context: Kamal Nath's resignation

Kamal NathThe Former state-incharge of Punjab

Kamal Nath is a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) party and the Ex Minister of Urban Development.

A member and the pro tem Speaker of the current 16th Lok Sabha of India, he represents the Chhindwara constituency of Madhya Pradesh.

He has close ties with the Nehru-Gandhi family, having been young friends and schoolmates with Sanjay Gandhi at the Doon School, Dehradun.

12 Jun 2016Kamal Nath appointed as state-incharge of Punjab

Kamal Nath was made in charge of the party affairs in the state of Punjab by Congress on 12th June, 2016.

He was also given charge of the Congress party unit in Haryana, where the BJP is currently in power.

Post his appointment, a number of controversies stirred up about his involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in New Delhi.

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The 1984 anti-Sikh riots

Following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, nearly 2,733 Sikhs were killed in the riots and over 50,000 were displaced within two days. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her bodyguards, both of whom were Sikhs.

Reactions Aam Aadmi Party's reaction to Nath's appointment

Arvind Kejriwal, CM of Delhi, addressed a tweet to Capt. Amarinder Singh asking him about his stand on Nath's involvement in the riots.

AAP leader HS Phoolka is a known advocate of the victims of the riot. According to him, Nath's appointment was a "reward" from Congress for the 1984 riots.

The Party also wants an FIR to be registered in Kamal Nath's name.

Accusations

At least two eye-witnesses of the riots allege that Kamal Nath was present in the mob that attacked Gurudwara Rakabganj in New Delhi on 1 November, 1984, one day after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Two Sikhs were killed in that attack.

Response Kamal Nath's reactions to allegations

Kamal Nath said he never denied his presence outside the Delhi Gurudwara Rakabganj on 1st November, 1984.

"I was present there because I was asked by my party to reach there. There was a mob outside the gurdwara. I tried to stop them from attacking it", he said.

Nath asked, "Where was (HS) Phoolka all these years? Why is he making the allegations now?"

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18 Jun 2016Kamal Nath resigns as state-incharge of Punjab

The issues that Punjab faces

Kamal Nath said, "The real issues in Punjab are misgovernance, drug menace, the flight of youth from the state for lack of opportunities and employment, et al. I resigned as Punjab in-charge lest public attention was diverted from these issues."