Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 19
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday called Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal’s statements on former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi “lies”.
Amarinder Singh said Badal’s statements—in which he condemned the former for celebrating Gandhi’s 75th birth anniversary—were “brazen falsehoods” meant to defame the former chief minister and divide the Sikh community.
Badal told some reporters on Monday that Rajiv Gandhi had “ordered the killings” of Sikhs, and his mother Indira Gandhi, also a former prime minister, had attacked “our holiest place Shri Harmandir Sahib with tanks and mortars".
“By repeatedly lying about the issue, they have been trying to manipulate the facts, which clearly showed that Rajiv was in no way complicit in the events that followed the tragic assassination of his mother, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, in 1984,” the chief minister said.
“The fact was that Rajiv was not in Bihar and heard of his mother’s death on a transistor radio (with no mobile phones etc available then),” he said, adding that Badal trying to “mislead the people of Punjab by feeding them outright lies”.
The two leaders carried their war of words to Twitter: on Monday evening, the chief minister asked Badal: "
The two leaders carried their war of words to Twitter: on Monday evening, the chief minister asked Badal: "Why this sudden obsession with Rajiv Gandhi? Could be because you’re jealous of him? After all, he became Prime Minister at the age of 40 and you haven’t even become Chief Minister at 57! That could explain your manic delusions vis-a-vis Rajiv".
The SAD working president's reply was quick and blistering.
"My obsession with Rajiv Gandhi isn't a sudden one but decades old and also not for the reason you think of. Being a Sikh, I can never forget how mercilessly thousands of innocent Sikhs were murdered on the direction of your friend," he said. "It's you only who can suck up to these #Gandhis to come in power but for me it's a commitment with the community to ensure every culprit of Sikh massacre is put behind bars. Mark my words, one day all these BUTCHERS will be at the place they deserve."
Let me correct you @capt_amarinder. My obsession with #RajivGandhi isn't a sudden one but decades old and also not for the reason you think of. Being a Sikh, I can never forget how mercilessly thousands of innocent Sikhs were murdered on the direction of your friend. https://t.co/khA5uwSJnN— Sukhbir Singh Badal (@officeofssbadal) August 19, 2019
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