Alka Lamba asked to quit AAP after MLA refuses to back demand for revoking Rajiv Gandhi's Bharat Ratna award

Alka Lamba was asked to resign from primary membership of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and from the Delhi Assembly on Friday after she denied support to a resolution in the Assembly that called for revoking late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's Bharat Ratna award over the 1984 riots.

Lamba had walked out of the House after refusing to give her support to the resolution. "After I staged a walkout, I got a message from the chief minister to tender my resignation," she told PTI.

When asked whether she will quit, Lamba added, "I have won on a party ticket. I will tender my resignation as demanded by the party," the former Youth Congress leader said.

Following this, she took to Twitter to say that she is ready to face any punishment because of her actions.

The MLA from Chandni Chowk also told ANI, "The party has asked for my resignation. I'm ready to resign but Rajiv Gandhi has sacrificed a lot for the country and I didn't support the proposal in Assembly of taking back his Bharat Ratna. I've been asked to resign because I stood against the decision of the party."

The development comes after the second day of the special session of the Delhi Assembly, where AAP MLA Jarnail Singh brought up Rajiv Gandhi's name while elaborating on a resolution about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Party MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said that the original resolution did not mention the former prime minister's name and the last minute change was introduced by AAP's Somnath Bharti.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was reportedly unaware of the last minute change in the resolution.

Political reactions

Vijender Gupta, a BJP MLA noted the rising tensions within the party and told ANI: "There is total infighting in AAP, some leaders are in support of a resolution against Rajiv Gandhi and some are against. Basically, the AAP leadership is working on the directions of Congress, they just want to misguide people."

AAP MLA Kapil Mishra took to Twitter to react to the news and said that the Kejriwal is a stooge of the Congress party and he could not bear another person to take that credit away from him. Mishra said that this was the reason Lamba was sacked.

In another tweet, he said that Jarnail Singh introduced Rajiv Gandhi's name, Saurabh Bhardwaj moved the resolution after it was approved by Arvind Kejriwal, and it was passed by Ram Nivas Goel. "Where did Alka Lamba come in all this?" he asked.

Resolution passed on Friday

On Friday, the second day of the special session of Delhi Assembly, AAP tabled a resolution terming the 1984-riots the worst genocide in the history of the national capital. The resolution that was passed also included a proposal of revoking the Bharat Ratna awarded to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in view of the 1984 riots. Singh mentioned Rajiv's name in the Assembly and while elaborating on the resolution, demanded that his Bharat Ratna is withdrawn for "justifying anti-Sikh riots".

However, Bharadwaj told ANI that AAP's original resolution did not include the clause seeking withdrawal of the highest civilian accolade in India conferred to the former prime minister. He claimed that Bharti scribbled an amendment later on, which was not a part of the original copy of resolution distributed to the MPs. "Original resolution prepared by us had demanded that the 1984 riots be declared genocide and that a special law is created so that strict punishment can be given to perpetrators and creating fast-track courts to try such heinous crimes," he said.

"Somnath Bharti scribbled an amendment about Rajiv Gandhi, it wasn't part of the original resolution. Original resolution with demands of declaring 1984 riots as genocide and fast-track courts has been passed. The proposal by Bharti remained proposal and couldn't be passed," he added.

Rajiv, who took over the reins of Congress and the government following his mother's demise, was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna in 1991. Rajiv Gandhi justified the anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of Indira Gandhi in a public address, saying "when a big tree falls, the earth shakes".

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Dec 22, 2018 14:18:00 IST

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