AAP firefights Rajiv reference in anti-Sikh riots

Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal's AAP was busy firefighting on Saturday over a reference to withdrawal of Bharat Ratna honour to former prime minister, the late Rajiv Gandhi, as the Delhi Assembly adopted a resolution on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

Even as Congress lambasted the AAP over the resolution demanding stripping Rajiv Gandhi of the highest civilian honour, Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel sought to douse the controversy and asserted that no such mention had been made in the document that was adopted by the House.

Angered by the Delhi Assembly resolution, Congress leaders hit back at AAP by describing it as the 'B-Team' of the BJP and demanded that the controversial resolution be withdrawn.

Aspiring for an alliance with the Congress for the Lok Sabha elections next year, AAP launched a damage control exercise with Kejriwal reprimanding party legislator Somnath Bharti, who first demanded withdrawal of the Bharat Ratna awarded to Rajiv Gandhi.

Speaker Goel told PTI that the “proposed amendment” moved by AAP legislator Jarnail Singh on taking back Bharat Ratna awarded to Rajiv Gandhi was not adopted as the House was not informed beforehand.

“It is an emotional issue and Jarnail Singh mentioned the name of Rajiv Gandhi during his speech on the resolution,” Goel said, adding that since the amendment was not part of the main resolution it was not passed.

Asked to resign

Soon after the Delhi Assembly adopted the resolution on the anti-Sikh riots, AAP legislator Alka Lamba claimed that she had been asked to resign as she had refused to support the party-sponsored move. Lamba, a former Congress leader, said she staged a walkout from the Assembly as she disagreed with the reference to Rajiv Gandhi and was now ready to face the consequences of her action.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia refuted Lamba's claim that she had been asked to quit. “Neither any resignation has been sought nor is anyone resigning,” Sisodia said at a press conference, a day after Lamba tweeted that she has been asked to tender resignation.

Delhi Congress President Ajay Maken slammed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for showing disrespect to late Rajiv Gandhi and pointed out that even the BJP had not resorted to the tactics that were employed by AAP.

“True colours of AAP have come out in the open! I have always believed that AAP is the B team of BJP,” Maken said. Delhi Congress leaders, most of whom oppose any tie-up with AAP, rallied behind Maken in support of his stand.

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