Chandigarh, September 12 ; Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today strongly condemned the action of US-Canadian group, Sikhs For Justice against UPA Chairperson and Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi holding her responsible for the 1984 anti- Sikh riots.
In a statement issued here Mr. Bajwa said that as the party President in Punjab he could personally vouch for Mrs Sonia Gandhi’s sensitivity towards issues relating to the Sikh community. The campaign of vilification and harassment unleashed by the Sikhs For Justice and is highly condemnable and is not a step in the right direction or calculated to maintain peace in Punjab.
He said that Mrs Sonia Gandhi had always been a champion of the minorities, feeling and working tirelessly for their welfare, progress and advancement in life. She has been particularly keen on the protection of the rights of the Sikh community. The last 9 years of UPA rule at the Centre have seen Sikhs rising to some of the highest appointments and posts in the country. Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister of India is a well-known figure, he stated.
Mr. Bajwa said that it would not be out of place to remind people that Mrs Sonia Gandhi spurned the post of Prime Minister preferring to propose the name of Dr Manmohan Singh for the same. Besides him at one time six Sikhs were resplendent upon the posts of Governors and Lieutenant Governors at the same time. Two Sikh generals have been appointed to head the country’s defence as Chiefs of the Army Staff for the first time.
PPCC President said that an eminent Sikh was the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission. Till last year a Sikh, Mr. Nehchal Sandhu headed India’s internal intelligence agency, the Intelligence Bureau (he is now the Deputy National Security Adviser). “I can go on and on relating the achievements of the Sikh community during the UPA regime. Sikhs today occupy the highest positions in the land whether in government, the armed forces, police, the corporate sector, the judiciary, academia, politics or business”, he said.
Mr. Bajwa said that the high visibility of Sikhs is a tribute to the country’s ideology and the UPA’s policies based on justice, fairplay and progress. It is not without reason that market surveys and research have shown the Sikh community to be the largest consumers in India. They are a proud, progressive, industrious and valiant community.
Mr. Bajwa said that it was very surprising to learn of the sustained campaign being mounted by a US-Canadian group, Sikhs For Justice against the UPA Chairperson, Mrs Sonia Gandhi. How is Mrs Gandhi involved in tragic anti-Sikh riots of 1984 and what is the locus stand of the plaintiffs on this matter and the jurisdiction of US courts?
Mr. Bajwa said that just making allegations without a shred of proof or coherent investigations is to my mind making a mockery of the entire judicial process. Mrs Gandhi entered active politics only in 1998. How can she be linked in any way to the horrors of the 1984 riots? All cases involving the riots are sub-judice to link Mrs Gandhi to any such skullduggery is a travesty of the facts and not sustainable under any circumstances or judicial process, he added.