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If Narasimha Rao had listen to IK Gujral, 1984 riot could have been avoided says Manmohan Singh

The 1984 Sikh riot followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the hands of her four Sikh security personnel

New Delhi: Former PM Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said if PV Narasimha Rao, the then home minister, had heeded the advice of former prime minister IK Gujral, the 1984 anti-Sikh massacre could have been avoided.

Addressing at an event to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Gujral, the former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh said: “When the sad incident of 1984 took place, Gujral Ji on that very sad evening went to the then Home Minister PV Narasimha Rao and said to him that the situation is so grave that it is necessary for the central government to call the military at the earliest. If that advice would have been heeded, perhaps the massacre that took place in 1984 could have been avoided.”

The 1984 Sikh riot followed the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at the hands of her four Sikh security personnel. This had leftover 3,000 Sikhs dead across the country.

Former PM Manmohan Singh also spoke, his relationship with the former Prime Minister grew to post the Emergency period. “He was the minister of Information and Broadcasting and he had problems with some aspects of the management of Emergency and then he was removed to the planning commission as minister of state. I was then an economic adviser with the ministry of finance. Afterward, our relationship grew,”.

At the event, Former President Dr. Pranab Mukherjee also spoke and regretted the then Congress high command’s decision to withdraw support from IK Gujral-led United Front government in 1998. He said that the decision allowed BJP to come to power in the centre.

IK Gujral was India’s 12th Prime Minister between April 1997 and March 1998 and put forward the ‘Gujral Doctrine’ of five principles for maintaining good relations with India’s neighbors.

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