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SAD trying to malign Rajiv Gandhi's image, claims Amarinder

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

Amarinder Singh today accused the (SAD) of resorting to "false propaganda" to malign former Rajiv Gandhi's image.

Lashing out at for raising questions about late Rajiv Gandhi's role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, the alleged there were persistent efforts by Akali leaders to defame the former

Rajiv Gandhi, he said, was not even in when the violence broke out.

"Rajiv was in Contai, some 150 kms from Kolkata, on an election tour of West Bengal," pointed out, accusing of deliberately misinterpreting Jagdish Tytler's statements in a recent TV interview.

The criticised Badal for trying to link with a sting operation which, he emphasised, Tytler had dismissed as being "doctored".

"It is a matter of record that by the time Rajiv returned to Delhi, on being informed of his mother's assassination, rioting had already erupted," chief minister Singh said in a statement.

"In his TV interview Tytler has, in fact, categorically stated that Rajiv went around with him to try and control the situation, which had seriously escalated by the time he was sworn in as Rajiv had issued clear instructions to all party to go back to their constituencies and defuse the situation at any cost," the chief minister said.

in the wake of the riots showed that Rajiv Gandhi unequivocally condemned the violence and warned of stringent action against anyone found to be indulging in communal violence, he said.

"After their botched attempts to spread false propaganda by misconstruing Tytler's TV interview, the Akalis were now taking refuge in a video, which the had categorically rejected as metamorphosed, in a desperate bid to give credence to their fabrication," said the chief minister.

He was referring to a video released by Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) GK on Monday. The video was of a purported sting operation recorded in 2011, which GK said was received by him from an unknown person on February 3.

Claiming that Badal was trying to allegedly fan passions by taking certain portions of Tytler's statement out of context, termed it "the height of irresponsible behaviour".

Had there been any involvement of Rajiv in the riots, the same would have been exposed long back, he said.

"Have not the people of already suffered enough due to the terrorism that swept the state in the wake of the 1984 riots," he asked Badal.

The chief minister said it was unfortunate that the Akalis were allegedly playing into the hands of divisive forces.

Badal had yesterday claimed that the central government has urged the Justice SN Dhingra-led special investigation team (SIT) to look into "the role of Rajiv Gandhi".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, February 11 2018. 22:10 IST