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Manmohan Denies Congress Involvement, Blames R.S.S. for Anti-Sikh Riots


Rediff, Sep. 2, 1999

Former finance minister Manmohan Singh, Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha from South Delhi, today accused the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh [R.S.S.], ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party [B.J.P.], of being involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh carnage in the capital.

Addressing reporters at the Press Club of India, Dr. Singh said the 1984 riots were 'a black spot and the saddest event.' But the Congress as an organisation had no role in it, he claimed. 'It should not have happened.'

He pointed out that in 1984 he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan by the President of India. Had there been any institutionalised anti-Sikh bias in the Congress, which was then the ruling party, he would not have got the coveted award, he argued. The first information reports lodged at different police stations in Delhi prove that several R.S.S. men were involved in the riots, Dr. Singh said.

He dismissed as 'BJP propaganda' reports that Sikh voters had asked him during campaigning how they could vote for a party that had 'blood on its hands.' He said the B.J.P. had no right to dictate from where he could contest. 'How can they prevent me from contesting an election just because I am a Sikh?' he challenged.