Monday, June 13th, 2016

Kamal Nath in Punjab, Congress party’s bizarre way of (un) connecting with people

Narada Desk | June 13, 2016 5:50 pm Print
AAP and BJP has termed Kamal Nath's appointment as a reward for his role in anti- Sikh riot

Every time Congress is drubbed in an election, there arises two types of chorus from the party workers.

One faction finds solace in extending their support to Sonia-Rahul. The more brave people, while reiterating their loyalty for the service of Gandhi family, would demand a reshuffle in the organisation.

This time when the party lost in Kerala and Assam, making one feel whether the BJP’s dream of a ‘Congress mukth Bharat’ is a near possibility.

Some senior leaders have even called for a surgery in the party.

Then there was a talk of Rahul Gandhi being anointed as the president of the party. It may or might not happen in the near future, but party has  started effecting  changes in the organisation and it speaks volumes about the Congress party and how it is going to fail the secular liberal minded people who consider the Grand Old Party could rally all democratic forces in resisting the fascist obscurantist forces.

Two general secretaries have been appointed now.

Kamal Nath for poll bound Punjab and Gulam Nabi Azad for Uttar Pradesh

What does Kamal Nath’s appointment mean for the Sikhs in Punjab?

Kamal Nath, who was alleged to have role in the 1984 anti- Sikh riots. He takes charge of Congress party’s affairs in Punjab when the central government is trying to reopen 75 cases related to the riots that followed the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Two principal players in the Punjab politics Aam Admi Party (AAP) and Shiromani Akali Dal has come out against the appointment saying that Congress is rewarding Kamal Nath for his role in the riot.

Though Kamal Nath claims he is innocent and the Nanavathi Commission which inquired into the riots has exonerated him, it is still widely perceived that he gave tacit support to the rioters when they targeted Sikhs, their homes and business establishments.

Journalist Sanjay Suri in his book “1984: The Anti-Sikh violence and After” describes his role in Delhi’s Gurudwara Rakabganj attack.

Despite 1984, Congress could retain significant share of Sikh votes who account for 58 percent of the population in Punjab.

One reason put forth by those who support the decision of the Congress high command is that the party is trying to defuse the BJP attempt to play the Hindu card.

In the run up to the last Lok Sabha poll and even afterwards, several books and articles have emerged on the 1984 riots.

Many might be sincere efforts to wake up the society on the gross injustice done to the Sikhs.

But political observers have not missed the immediate political benefits reaped by the BJP in invoking the 1984 riot cases often.

Now the Congress has played in their hands by proving cannon fodder.

BJP has been accused of using 1984 riots to wash itself squeaky clean from the stigma 2002 Gujarat riots and other communal flagrations.