New Delhi: Against a backdrop of growing criticism against the party’s visible silence on the Delhi riots in February this year, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh on Sunday said that the communal violence in the national capital was “engineered” by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
“The riots in Delhi were an outcome of a deep conspiracy by the BJP. The riots were engineered by the BJP. I am maintaining this from day one and reiterating today. I said this in parliament as well that the BJP organised the riots. And the police, which comes under the MHA, did not take any action,” Singh told reporters at a press conference.
Singh’s statements came amidst the ongoing tussle between the AAP-led Delhi government and the Centre’s representative in Delhi, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, over the appointment of public prosecutors in cases related to the communal riots. Baijal has been insisting that six public prosecutors recommended by the Delhi police will argue the riot-related cases.
Baijal’s pressure on the Delhi government assumes political significance as the Delhi police, which functions under the Union home ministry, has been facing allegations of conducting heavily biased probes against the minority community.
The AAP government has mostly maintained conspicuous silence on the issue of communalisation of Delhi and has been refraining from holding any party responsible for the violence. Even as the riots unfolded in the National Capital over three days, AAP leaders, including the chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, had remained guarded. They only appealed for peace but did not mobilise party cadre or elected representatives to actively mediate between communities. The riots eventually claimed 53 lives and resulted in damage of property worth hundreds of crores.
Interestingly, Singh’s press conference came on the heels of the party’s recent briefing to attack the Congress. Rajinder Nagar MLA Raghav Chadha lashed out at the grand old party over the Rajasthan political crisis, and alleged that it was selling its legislators. He did not mention the BJP, which has been accused of ‘buying’ MLAs. Alleging that the Congress was “on ventilator,” Chadha claimed that it had lost all relevance and credibility.
Among scores of AAP leaders, only Singh has consistently been critical of the BJP in Delhi and other states where the saffron party leads the government.