The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday kept up its criticism of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, alleging that “instructions to kill” members of the Sikh community during the violence in 1984 had come from his office.
“It is on record of Nanavati Commission that probed the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the biggest genocide of India in which the government killed its own citizens, that instructions to kill came directly from the then PM Rajiv Gandhi’s office,” the saffron party tweeted. “The country awaits justice for this karma.” The ruling party was referring to Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s tweet criticising Narendra Modi after the prime minister had called his father “corrupt number one”.
The violence against Sikhs in early November 1984 had followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. However, the 2005 Nanavati Commission report said there was “absolutely no evidence” that Rajiv Gandhi had suggested or organised attacks on Sikhs, according to NDTV. “It was suggested that Shri Rajiv Gandhi had told one of his officials that Sikhs should be taught a lesson,” the report had said. “The commission finds no substance in that allegation. The evidence in this behalf is very vague.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticising Rajiv Gandhi in his election speeches over the past few days, claiming that the former prime minister had died a corrupt person.
“Your [Rahul Gandhi’s] father was termed ‘Mr Clean’ by his courtiers, but his life ended as ‘Bhrashtachari number one’ [corrupt number 1],” Modi had said at a rally in Uttar Pradesh on May 4. Modi was purportedly referring to the Bofors scam, in which Gandhi was implicated. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in 1991. The Congress complained to the Election Commission about Modi’s comments.
On May 6, the prime minister challenged the Congress to contest the remainder of the Lok Sabha polls in Rajiv Gandhi’s name.