This Article is From Mar 06, 2014

Jagdish Tytler spares Congress more ignominy, abandons election plans

Jagdish Tytler spares Congress more ignominy, abandons election plans

Congress leader Jagdish Tytler (file pic)

New Delhi: Jagdish Tytler, the controversial Congress leader accused of inciting the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, has abandoned plans to run for Parliament. 

Sources said that after a meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Mr Tytler pulled out the primary being held to select the party's candidate for North-East Delhi. 

The 70-year-old's decision to enter the primary was a PR disaster for his party at a time when tainted leaders are provoking public anger and frustration.  In Delhi, the Congress was relegated to a humiliating third place in the December state election after 15 years in power.

In the last general election in 2009, the Congress aborted its plan to field Mr Tytler as a candidate after huge protests in the capital.

When he entered the primary earlier this week, Mr Tytler defiantly said, "Whenever the election approaches, just to see that I don't succeed either in getting a ticket or in order to damage my reputation,  a few people with vested political interests raise the issue of 1984 riots against me."

In 1984, after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, at least 3000 Sikhs were killed in retaliatory riots. Activists and survivors blame the Congress for allowing the violence, and say some party leaders like Mr Tytler incited mobs. 

He has always denied any wrongdoing. Last year, the CBI cleared him of charges but a Delhi court said his alleged role in the riots must be investigated again.