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1984 riots cannot be kept alive forever: PM

May 11, 2009 17:34 IST

Describing 1984 anti-Sikh riots as a 'painful' episode, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the issue cannot be kept alive forever and some people were raking it up for their vested interests.

He also disapproved of some of his partymen seeking votes in Punjab in the name of a 'Sikh Prime Minister', saying religion should not be mixed with politics and that he was an Indian first.

To a question of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Dr Singh said at a press conference that it was a 'painful episode. But it cannot be kept alive forever'.

After the UPA government came to power in 2004, he said, it had reviewed the cases and enhanced compensation for the victims.

"Par kuch log apni dukaan chamkane ke liye is kisse ko hamesha ke liye zinda rakhna chahte hain. Is se na to desh ko koi fayda hai na Sikh community ko (Some people want to keep this issue alive for their vested interests. It is not going to help either the country or the Sikh community)," he said.

On his party seeking votes in Punjab in the name of a 'Sikh prime minister', Dr Singh said, "I sincerely believe that religion should not be brought into political matters. I have not authorised anybody to use my name. I am an Indian first."

"I am Prime Minister of India and I represent all sections of the Indian people. Therefore, I do not think in terms of Sikhs and non Sikhs," he said.

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