Hours after Kamal Nath took oath as the 18th chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday took a swipe at the Congress, alleging that Sikhs consider Nath "culpable" in the 1984 violence against the community. Jaitley's remark came on the heels of Congress leader Sajjan Kumar's conviction in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case this morning. Convicting Sajjan Kumar in the case, the Delhi High Court said the riots were a "crime against humanity" perpetrated by those who enjoyed "political patronage".
Jaitley, who dubbed Kumar a "symbol" of the anti-Sikh "genocide", said the country had never seen murders on such a bigger scale as it witnessed during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The finance minister also accused the Congress and its ruling Gandhi family of being involved in a "cover-up".
Hailing the conviction of Sajjan Kumar, the BJP leader further said the decision may be delayed but at least the process of justice has started and hope that there will be more verdicts as many cases are being heard on a day to day basis.
"It is an irony that the verdict has come on a day when a Congress chief minister, who is held culpable by the Sikh community, is taking the oath," Jaitley told reporters in an apparent reference to Nath.
CM Kamal Nath, however, has denied any role in the riots against Sikhs while Congress has always maintained that due process of law is being followed and the issue should not be politicised.
Giving a befitting reply to Jaitley, the new Madhya Pradesh CM said, "I took oath in 1991 and several times after that, no one said anything. There is no case, FIR, or charge sheet against me. Today they are raking up this matter. You can understand politics behind this". "Did eyewitness tell you about my involvement?" Kamal Nath asked.
Kamal Nath on 1984 Anti-Sikh riots: I took oath in 1991 & several times after that, no one said anything. There is no case,FIR,or chargesheet against me. Today they are raking up this matter. You can understand politics behind this. Did eyewitness tell you(about his involvement)? pic.twitter.com/506LqcBD4I— ANI (@ANI) December 17, 2018
The 1984 anti-Sikh riots case refers to the violence against Sikhs following the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi in October 1984.
While a commission appointed by the Congress government gave a clean chit to the then dispensation, the Nanavati commission constituted by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government of the BJP-led NDA collated riot cases police station wise.
The Narendra Modi government formed the Mathur committee and a SIT was later constituted to reinvestigate many riots cases across India.