Kamal Nath quits as Punjab in-charge, Sheila Dikshit to take over
Days after being appointed general secretary in charge of poll-bound Punjab, senior Congress leader Kamal Nath was relieved of the charge at his own request, party sources said. Kamal Nath wrote to party President Sonia Gandhi requesting her to relieve him of the assignment.
In his two-page letter, he said that he had been hurt over the developments of the past few days during which “an unnecessary controversy has been created around the tragic 1984 riots in New Delhi”.
Noting the Nanavati Commission set up by the NDA government had fully absolved him of any charges after proper investigation, he said that “certain elements” were raking these issues only for “political gains” and the maligning of the Congress using “false accusations” was unacceptable to him.
“I may be relieved of my charge to ensure that the attention is not diverted from real issues facing Punjab,” he said.
He also wished that party should focus on the upcoming assembly election and highlight the issues of mis-governance, misery of farmers and youth, breakdown of law and order and rampant drug trade in the state. Gandhi accepted his resignation, said party sources.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had termed the June 12 appointment of Kamal Nath as the general secretary incharge of Punjab a “shameful” move.
“This is very shameful move by the Congress. He (Kamal Nath) is one of the accused of 1984 anti-Sikh riots and Congress has rewarded him for following the orders of Rajiv Gandhi,” AAP leader H.S. Phoolka had said, alleging a mob led by Kamal Nath was behind the violence at Gurudwara Rakabganj in New Delhi.
According to sources, even some leaders in the state Congress unit were not happy with the decision to appoint him.
Kamal Nath, a former union minister, was also given charge of Haryana. Soon after Kamal Nath’s exit, Congress has now appointed former three time Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit as the Punjab in- charge.