Rao's grandson takes exception to Manmohan Singh's comments on anti-Sikh riots

HYDERABAD:Taking exception to Manmohan Singh’s remarks that the 1984 anti-Sikh riots could have been avoided had P V Narasimha Rao called in the army, the then home minister’s grandson on Thursday said the former prime minister should know such decisions are taken by the cabinet.

“Dr Manmohan Singh should know that Home Minister alone cannot take a decision. It is combined cabinet decision to be taken to bring the Army into picture,” Rao’s grandson N V Subhash, also a BJP leader, said in a statement here.

Singh should also know that Rao, as the then Home Minister, was asked not to give independent instructions as the PMO was completely seized of the matter, he claimed.

Under those circumstances, the only thing Rao could do was to apprise the PMO of the ground situation and appeal for appropriate actions which his grandfather did, he said.

“How can the Home Minister call the Army independently when PMO itself was seized of the matter,” asked Subhash, a spokesperson of BJP in Telangana.

“If Dr Manmohan Singh felt uncomfortable that the Sikh riots happened in 1984, he should have protested and should not have joined the PV Narasimha Rao cabinet as the Finance Minister. Why this blame game now?” he asked.

Noting that Singh had apologised for anti-Sikh riots in 2005, Subhash asked why he did not utter a word about this at that time.

Singh’s comments were a pre-planned bid to shield the Gandhi family by blaming Narasimha Rao for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, he alleged.

“I leave this matter to the wisdom of Dr Manmohan Singh at this point of time. In fact, Dr Manmohan Singh has put India in a shameful condition many times,” he charged.

Speaking at an event on Wednesday to commemorate former prime minister I K Gujral, Singh had said that Gujral had told Rao to bring in the Army to contain the raging anti- Sikh violence after then PM Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. PTI