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Congress may review Tytler, Sajjan candidatures

Apparently concerned over the political fallout of hurling of shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram, Congress on Tuesday indicated it was open to review the candidatures of Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, who were facing allegations of involvement in the anti-Sikh riots.

“Congress is a large party and it takes considered decisions at appropriate time. Let us see what solutions emerge in the future,” party spokesman Ashwini Kumar said at the AICC briefing held hours after the incident.

Kumar was asked to comment whether the party would withdraw nominations to Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, a demand also made by the BJP.

A section of Delhi unit of Congress has demanded reconsideration of candidature of Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler, both facing allegations of involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

“A large number of Sikhs in the country are already seething in anger for the last 25 years since the 1984 riots. Instead of pacifying them, the party has added to their agony by giving Lok Sabha tickets to Kumar and Tytler from South Delhi and North-East Delhi parliamentary seats,” a senior Congress leader from Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) said on the condition of anonymity.

Another DPCC leader said the incident involving a Sikh journalist hurling a shoe at Chidambaram over CBI clean chit to Tytler in the riot case has once again highlighted the issue in the run-up to the general elections.

“The incident has polarised the community across the country, stepping up demands for withdrawal of the nomination of the two accused leaders,” he said.

The Congress leader cautioned that ignoring the sentiments would hurt party’s poll prospects not only in Delhi but throughout the country.

Around 50 Sikhs were detained in the national capital after they tried to break a barricade and march towards Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s residence to protest the detention of a journalist who hurled a shoe at Home Minister P Chidambaram.

Hundreds of Sikhs, including women, had gathered at Jantar Mantar soon after the news spread that a Sikh journalist threw a shoe at the minister and was detained by police.

Jarnail Singh was protesting against the clean chit given by CBI to Congress leader Jagdish Tytler in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

Raising slogans against Tytler and the Congress, around 50 protestors tried to jump the barricade erected at the Parliament Street and march towards Gandhi’s residence. However, they were stopped by police.

All the protestors were taken into custody, a senior police officer said, adding they were released later. Some of the protestors were also seen thrashing the photograph of Tytler with shoes.

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