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Jagdish Tytler resigns bowing to pressure

Thursday 11 August 2005

Special Correspondent

We bow to the sentiments expressed and will reopen cases against individuals named by Nanavati panel: Manmohan

Find out who organised the carnage: L.K. Advani

Perpetrators of crime not punished: Gurudas Dasgupta

BJP-RSS workers also involved in riots: Kapil Sibal

Sikhs feel let down: Sukhbir Singh Badal

I want my name to be cleared: Tytler

Photo: AP

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CRY FOR JUSTICE: A woman turns emotional during a demonstration by Sikhs in New Delhi on Wednesday, demanding punishment to those responsible for the massacre of their brethren in the 1984 riots that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.AP

NEW DELHI: Bowing to intense pressure from within the Congress, its allies and supporting Left parties and the Opposition, Minister of State for Overseas Indian Affairs Jagdish Tytler put in his papers late on Wednesday.

He submitted his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi with the request that it be forwarded to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Manmohan’s assurance

The resignation came barely hours after Dr. Singh assured the Lok Sabha that the Government would reopen and re-examine cases against specific individuals named by the Nanavati Commission that went into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

The assurance was given during his intervention in a discussion on the adjournment motion sponsored by the Opposition on the failure of the Government to take action against those indicted by the Commission. The House, however, rejected the motion.

Reiterating the assurances given by the Prime Minister, Home Minister Shivraj Patil said the guilty would not be protected. Also, he denied any attempt by the Government to "whitewash" the findings of the Commission.

Authoritative sources said Dr. Singh met Mr. Tytler in the afternoon and asked him to resign from the Council of Ministers.

The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance has been drawing flak since the Nanavati Commission report and the Action Taken Report were tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday. The Nanavati Commission report mentioned there was "credible evidence" that Mr. Tytler "very probably" had a hand in organising the attacks.

Talking to mediapersons, Mr. Tytler said: "I want my name to be cleared. I went to the Congress president and submitted my resignation requesting her to forward the same to the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh. I do not want my party to be put in any kind of difficulty."

"Allegations fabricated"

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THAT’S MY WORD: Union Minister Jagdish Tytler speaking to the media after submitting his resignation to Congress president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi on Wednesday.

He insisted that the allegations against him were "fabricated" and that the affidavit submitted by one Surinder Singh was "not valid" since he later revised it.

"I was at 1 Akbar Road and later at Teen Murti at the time I was accused of instigating riots."

Demanding a thorough inquiry into the affair and the findings of the report, he said it should be completed within a certain timeframe so that he could be cleared. "I am confident that I will stand vindicated in the ultimate analysis. The Nanavati report is rubbish and should be thrown in the dustbin."

Pressure began mounting on Mr. Tytler a day after the Congress rejected the Opposition charge that he be removed from the Council of Ministers. A section in the Congress was also of the view that he be removed.

Left parties unhappy

Meanwhile, sources in the Left parties said they were "unhappy" over Mr. Shivraj Patil’s statement in the Lok Sabha as it did not offer any assurance on the action the Government intended against Mr. Tytler.

Before news of the resignation became public, the Left parties decided to take it up in the Rajya Sabha, the sources said.

The parties voted against the Opposition-sponsored motion in the Lok Sabha.

Kalam accepts resignation

Later in the night, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sent Mr. Tytler’s resignation letter to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for his acceptance.

Mr. Kalam accepted the resignation on the advice of Dr. Singh, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesman said.

See online : The Hindu

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