NEW DELHI: A controversy erupted over presence of Jagdish Tytler, facing allegations of involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, in the charge taking ceremony of Sheila Dikshit as Delhi Congress president on Wednesday, with opposing parties terming the incident as an exposure of "anti-Sikh" face of the party. Dikshit backed Tytler saying he was a Congressman and hit back at the BJP and the AAP charging them of having a narrow view of looking at things.
"Its a very narrow way of looking at things. After all he is a Congressman. The Congress has not shunted him out and he has not gone away from the party. So, why make an issue out of a non-issue," she told .
Tytler, who remains sidelined in the party, was seated along with other party leaders including Dikshit on the stage where the charge taking function took place at the Delhi Congress office.
The Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) alleged that the incident exposed Congress's anti-Sikh face and demanded that the party leaders clear their stand on Tytler.
"The AAP has been demanding the Congress to clear its stand on Tytler who is the main accused in anti-Sikh riot cases. The incident exposes anti-Sikh face of the Congress. Senior Congress leaders should now clear their stand on Tytler," Singh told reporters.
Tytler said that those raising the controversy should tell if there is any FIR against him in the anti-Sikh riot cases.
"I do not understand why is this controversy. There were 5,000 people at the function, I was one of them. There is no FIR against me. CBI cleared me three times in its inquiry. You should ask the BJP if there is any FIR against me," Tytler told .
Delhi BJP spokesperson Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga said the incident was like rubbing salt into the wounds of Sikhs
."Congress again rubbed Salt into wounds of Sikhs by Inviting Sikh murderer Jagdish Tytler into event of Shiela Dixit(sic)," Bagga tweeted.
Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee(DSGMC) general secretary and BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa alleged that Tytler sitting in the "font row" at the event was an act to intimidate witnesses in anti-Sikh riot cases.
"The Congress wants to send a message to the witnesses that the party high command supports Tytler and nobody should even try to testify against him," alleged Sirsa.
Delhi Congress chief spokesperson Sharmishtha Mukherjee said that there was an open invitation for the programme and anybody could come in it.
"It was an open programme and anybody could come. Also, there is no judgement against Tytler. The BJP and AAP who are attacking us should instead apologise for their own actions," she said.
The BJP should apologise to the whole nation for 2002 Gujarat riots and AAP should also seek apology on why did not they passed resolution to term these riots as "genocide" as they did in case of anti-Sikh riots.
A similar controversy arose in April last year over presence of Tytler and former Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, now convicted in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, during a protest of Congress president Rahul Gandhi against the Modi government at Rajghat.
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