RAJIV GANDHI BHARAT RATNA ROW
Alka Lamba asked to quit AAP over resolution over 1984 anti-Sikh riots
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Alka Lamba asked to quit AAP over resolution over 1984 anti-Sikh riots



SENIOR Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and MLA Alka Lamba was reportedly asked by her party to resign as MLA and also from and also from the party on Friday after a controversy erupted over a resolution in the Delhi Assembly seeking withdrawal of the Bharat Ratna awarded to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. 
 
Sources in the party said the action was taken against Lamba after she allegedly made "last-minute changes” to the resolution, on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, by adding mentions to Gandhi. The alleged additions to the resolution sought to withdraw the Bharat Ratna over the former PM’s comments on the 1984 riots.
 
"I have been asked to resign due to my stand against the resolution. For the last two days, discussion was going on in the assembly over 1984 riots. Today, a party line came to Somnath Bharti that a demand for withdrawal of Bharat Ratna to Rajiv Gandhi should be raised. Bharti mentioned it in his speech. After that I had to speak. I said I will not support it. After my speech, Jarnail Singh spoke and repeated the demand. So I walked out of the House in opposition to the party stand. I am ready to make the sacrifice,” Lamba told media.
 
The text of the resolution, passed following a two-day discussion and amended at the last minute, states: "This House also resolves that the Bharat Ratna awarded to former PM Rajiv Gandhi, who justified the 1984 massacre, be withdrawn by the Centre.” The resolution comes amid speculation on the possibility of AAP and Congress reaching an understanding for the 2019 general elections.
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Contrary to the AAP’s allegation, Lamba, an MLA from Chandni Chowk, said she had instead "opposed” the inclusion of the portion on Gandhi and was being "punished” for the same.
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Contrary to the AAP’s allegation, Lamba, an MLA from Chandni Chowk, said she had instead "opposed” the inclusion of the portion on Gandhi and was being "punished” for the same.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president, Ajay Maken criticised AAP for targeting the former PM. "Rajiv Gandhi sacrificed his life for the country. True colours of AAP have come out in the open. I have always believed that AAP is the BJP’s ‘B team’. They fielded candidates in Goa, Punjab, MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh just to cut the votes of Congress and help the BJP,” Maken tweeted.
 
Terming the riots as genocide, the resolution directed the Delhi government to impress upon the Ministry of Home Affairs to take all steps to include crimes against humanity and genocide in India’s domestic criminal laws.

"This House resolves that special fast track courts be set-up for time-bound trials in all pending 1984 riots cases, since 34 long and painful years have already elapsed, during which many victims have already passed away and the remaining witnesses are already in advanced stages of their lives,” it added.

Sources said that to withdraw the resolution, AAP will have to move and adopt a new one.

Former Congress MP Sajjan Kumar quit the party this week following his conviction in a case related to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that followed the assassination of the then PM Indira Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi, who took over the reins of the party and the government following his mother’s demise, was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award, in 1991.
 

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