Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi

AAP hit by storm over Delhi Assembly resolution

ANI | Updated: Dec 22, 2018 19:12 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 22 (ANI): The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been hit by a major controversy over its resolution adopted by the Delhi Assembly considering allegations that it contained a demand for stripping former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of his Bharat Ratna because of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
While its MLA Alka Lamba claimed that the demand was part of the resolution which she refused to support, the AAP denied it, even as Opposition Congress mounted attack on the ruling party over the issue.
Rajiv Gandhi was granted India's highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna after his death in 1991.
AAP leaders, including Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, addressed a press conference here on Saturday to assert that no such resolution was passed as the amendment was not placed before Speaker Ram Niwas Goel and members of the house.
"We are not of the view that Bharat Ratna should be taken back from Rajiv Gandhi," Sisodia said.
"To pass amendment in any resolution, it is first placed before the Speaker and then it is placed before all the legislators of the House as an amendment which is then put to vote separately and then passed," said AAP spokesman Saurabh Bhardwaj.
"The resolution was distributed both in English and Hindi to all MLAs before it was read by (AAP MLA) Jarnail Singh. The resolution that was placed on the table of the House or the resolution that was distributed doesn't have any sentence about former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi," Bhardwaj added.
According to AAP, MLA Somnath Bharti introduced the Rajiv Gandhi line in his own handwriting in the resolution copy that he possessed and passed it to Jarnail Singh who then read it.
"When Jarnail Singh read that resolution he also read the amendment proposed by Bharti," Bhardwaj said.
The Speaker, on his part, said the original resolution passed in the Delhi Assembly had no mention of Gandhi but was mentioned by Tilak Nagar MLA Jarnail Singh in his speech.
"There was a proposal for discussion on 1984 riots case. The original resolution had no mention of Rajiv Gandhi Ji. It was added by Jarnail Singh on his own in his speech. It is an emotional issue and people get swayed while speaking," Goel told ANI.
Lamba, who left the Congress in 2013 to join AAP, had walked out of the House, refusing to support the resolution.
Later, she tweeted that she was ready to face any punishment because of her actions.
"The party has asked for my resignation. I am ready to resign but Rajiv Gandhi has sacrificed a lot for the country and I didn't support the proposal in Assembly of taking back his Bharat Ratna. I have been asked to resign because I stood against the decision of the party," Lamba told ANI on Friday.
However, Sisodia said, "No resignation has been sought and from no one."
Delhi was hit by anti-Sikh violence after assassination of Gandhi's mother and then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. The violence left nearly 3,000 people dead.
Backing Lamba, Congress leader Ajay Maken tweeted, "Sh. 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 B team of BJP!"
However, BJP MLA and Delhi Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta claimed that the AAP was functioning under the directions of the Congress.
"There is total infighting in AAP, some leaders are in support of a resolution against Rajiv Gandhi and some are against. Basically, the AAP leadership is working on the directions of Congress, they just want to misguide people," he said. (ANI)