New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday night named veteran leader Kamal Nath as Madhya Pradesh's next chief minister, after hours of hectic parleys held by the party chief Rahul Gandhi with senior party leaders.

However, this decision by the Congress has triggered protest among the Sikh community, which claims that Nath had a role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

In November 1984 — shortly after then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards —  riots broke out across the country and at least 3,000 people lost their lives. 

Also read: Akali Dal livid about Kamal Nath's MP chief ministerial candidacy: 'Congress rewarding villains of anti-Sikh riots'

Akali Dal leader and lawmaker from Delhi Manjinder Singh Sirsa said, according to PTI, "Sikhs would launch a nation-wide protest if Kamal Nath is chosen as the Chief Minister in Madhya Pradesh."

Sirsa also warned Rahul Gandhi of Sikhs' anger if he followed "his family's tradition of rewarding butchers of 1984 Sikh genocide."

Not only Alaki Dal, but also the Aam Aadmi Party didn’t like the fact that Kamal Nath was one of the candidates for the post of the chief minister. AAP leader and Supreme Court lawyer HS Phoolka said, "There's ample amount of evidence against Kamal Nath and the wheel of justice is yet to turn against him. Now, it is up to (Congress president) Rahul Gandhi to decide whether he wants a man who was involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh," 

Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh defended Nath and blamed the BJP for the controversy. 

"I don't know who will be the CM. Whoever Rahul Gandhi chooses will be the CM. There was no FIR, no chargesheet, no case and he was not an accused. This is BJP campaigning against Kamal Nath at work. No one has any problem of him being the CM,” said Singh. 

Nath, who served as union minister in the previous Congress-led governments, has been a top contender for the chief minister post ever since his party won against the ruling BJP, which was in power in this central Indian state for 15 years.

Another senior party leader and former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia was also in the race.

"Our best wishes to Shri @OfficeOfKNath for being elected CM of Madhya Pradesh. An era of change is upon MP with him at the helm," the Congress tweeted.