Congress drops Jagdish Tytler, Sajjan Kumar

The Congress announced Thursday it had dropped Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar as its Lok Sabha candidates in the wake of protests over their alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.Congress spokesman Janardhan Dwivedi told reporters that the party had decided that “they will not be Lok Sabha candidates” from Delhi in the general elections set to start April 16.

Dwivedi added that both Tytler and Sajjan Kumar had opted out of the contest so as not to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the April-May polls.

The announcement came on a day of Sikh protests in New Delhi and Punjab against their candidature. Both have denied involvement in the killings of Sikhs after then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984.

‘I don’t think, I should contest’
Pushed to the wall after widespread protests by Sikhs over his exoneration by the CBI, beleaguered Congress leader Jagdish Tytler Thursday opted out of the electoral fray but left the final decision to the party.

“I don’t think I should fight (the election),” Tytler told a packed news conference here, adding that he did not want to cause “embarassment” to the party. He said he would meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi and abide by her orders over his Lok Sabha candidature for the Delhi Northeast constituency.

“Whatever she says is law for me… If she says that the atmosphere is not right, I will respect that” and not contest, he said, adding that there was not an “iota of truth” in allegations of his involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

He also lashed out at the media, saying it had tarnished his name and that of his family. “A lot of damage has been done to me and my family.”Tytler also said no one from the Congress party had approached him to back out from his candidature. He said he had only spoken to Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel.

“Twelve commissions (of inquiry) had been appointed (into the riots), five by the BJP and seven by the Congress. There were 13,500 affidavits filed in the riots. Not a single affidavit has been filed against me,” he said.

He also said if he contests the elections now he would win by over 200,000 votes.

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