Amid farmers' protest, 1984 anti-Sikh riots cast a shadow on Kamal Nath’s foray into BJP : The Tribune India

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Amid farmers' protest, 1984 anti-Sikh riots cast a shadow on Kamal Nath’s foray into BJP

BJP sources say the saffron camp has stalled the proceedings for the time being

Amid farmers' protest, 1984 anti-Sikh riots cast a shadow on Kamal Nath’s foray into BJP

Kamal Nath. File photo



Tribune News Service

Aditi Tandon

New Delhi, February 20

The shadow of his alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots has returned to haunt veteran Congressman Kamal Nath and cast a shadow on his speculated foray into the BJP.

With the suspense over Nath and his son Nakul Nath's sudden Delhi visit and anticipated entry into the saffron camp still hovering, BJP sources have told The Tribune that it is indeed the saffron camp that has dialled down on the issue.

The top BJP leadership is acutely conscious of the potential repercussions of Kamal Nath's saffron romance at a time when farmers of Punjab are at the forefront of another major agitation demanding a legal MSP regime and have given a call to march to Delhi on Wednesday.

"At this time when the government is earnestly engaged with the farmers to contain the protests, entry of Kamal Nath whose name has figured in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots could further raise concerns," a BJP leader said, adding that this is one of the factors behind the Kamal Nath BJP trail going cold for the time being.

Equally the issue of Kamal Nath's entry is tricky at a time when the BJP and Akali Dal are learnt to be in talks for a pre-poll Lok Sabha tie-up in Punjab.

A BJP leader said another major factor behind the delay in Nath's pact with the BJP could be the challenge of accommodating over a dozen sitting and over a dozen ex-MLAs who are likely to come with the the former Madhya Pradesh CM.

"Four mayors, 15 MLAs and 15 ex-MLAs want to join with Kamal Nath. Finding place for them is a challenge. That plan would also need time," a source said, adding that these factors could well be delaying Kamal Nath's BJP foray.

In December 2018, Kamal Nath had beaten the ghost of 1984 anti-Sikh riots and become chief minister of Madhya Pradesh after the party leadership cleared his name.

At that time, the Akali Dal and BJP had both warned the Congress against naming Nath the CM questioning his presence in Gurdwara Rakabganj in Delhi on the day two Sikhs were killed there in 1984.

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