New Delhi, Aug. 10: The BJP has demanded that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh quit the Congress over the action taken report on the Nanavati Commission’s findings or, failing that, apologise to the nation on behalf of his party.
“This is the only way by which he can redeem his prestige and credibility,” spokesperson Sushma Swaraj said at a media briefing today.
Aware that the announcements and assurances made by Singh in Parliament were the result of Left pressure, the BJP’s strategy is to continue embarrassing the Prime Minister and score points off the Left and the other UPA allies.
But it could boomerang ' that the same Nanavati Commission is probing the Gujarat riots has fuelled fears in the BJP that the boot may soon be on the other foot.
Sushma said: “We are aware of the fact that Sardar Manmohan Singh was not even a primary member of the Congress in 1984 (when the anti-Sikh riots happened). But he is equally culpable because the ATR was ratified by the cabinet which he chairs.”
She questioned the government’s justification of its failure to act against those named by the Nanavati Commission on the plea that the evidence was qualified by the caveat “very probably”.
“Government should also read ‘credible’ evidence along with ‘very probable’.
A commission of inquiry is a fact-finding body and not a court of trial. The judgment will be pronounced by a trial court after examining the evidence and interrogating the witnesses. No commission can use a phrase stronger than ‘very probable’,” she said.
The BJP leader said Gujarat and 1984 should not be used to cancel out one another. “When the Nanavati report on Gujarat is out, everyone will get a chance to discuss it and question us.
But linking 1984 with Gujarat is not tenable,” she said. When it was pointed out that the BJP had used 1984 whenever its government was attacked on Gujarat, she avoided an answer.
For the discussion in the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has fielded Rajnath Singh and S.S. Ahluwalia as its key speakers.