Congress leader Salman Khurshid has said that his party’s hands were stained with the blood of Muslims, even as the Grand Old Party distanced itself from his comments. The controversial remarks by the former Union foreign minister came during an event at Aligarh Muslim University when he was asked about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the violence following the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 during the Congress regime. Khurshid also asked people to learn from mistakes so that history was not repeated.
“I am a part of Congress. So, let me accept that we have the blood of Muslims on our hands. I am telling you this; we are ready to show the blood on our hands so that you understand that you too must not get blood on your hands,” ANI quoted Khurshid as saying. The Congress leader said if minorities are assaulted, then the hands of the attackers would get stained itself. “If you attack them, you are the ones who would get stains on your hands. Learn something from our history and don’t create such situation for yourself, where if you come back to AMU after 10 years you will find one like you to ask the question,” he said.
According to ANI, Khurshid was replying to a question asked by a former AMU student, identified as Amir Mintoee. “The first amendment (in Constitution) was in 1948. Then, there was Presidential order in 1950. After that Hasanpura, Maliana, Muzaffarnagar and there is a long list of riots under the Congress regime. Then there was the opening of the gates of Babri Masjid, placing idols inside and then the demolition of Babri Masjid while Congress was in power at the centre. Congress has Muslims’ blood on its hands. What do you have to say about it?” the former student asked.
What I said I will continue to say, I made the statement as a human being: Salman Khurshid, Senior Congress leader on his statement ‘Congress has blood on its hands’ pic.twitter.com/Q0FjOcWa2q
— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2018
Congress leader PL Punia, however, clarified that the party disagreed with Khurshid’s statement. “Everyone must know that both prior and post-independence, Congress is the only party which has worked towards building an egalitarian society by carrying all sections of people together as also religious and ethnic minorities,” he said.
BJP was quick to latch onto Khurshid’s remarks and said Congress’ hand was not only stained with the blood of Muslims but those of Sikhs as well, referring to the 1984 riots. “Salman Khurshid has revealed the truth behind Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Save the Constitution’ campaign. He has admitted that Congress’ hand is stained with blood. It is not only stained with the blood of Muslims but also of Sikhs who were killed in 1984,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said.
Salman Khurshid has revealed the truth behind Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Save the Constitution’ campaign. He has admitted that Congress’ hand is stained with blood. It is not only stained with the blood of Muslims but also of Sikhs who were killed in 1984: Sambit Patra, BJP in Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/x04e13ufZ5
— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2018
Later, speaking to the media, Khurshid said he made the statement as a human being and was defending the Congress, which is perceived as pro-minority. “I am not a representative of the Congress party, I am the Congress party. I was defending Congress party. What I said I will continue to say, I made the statement as a human being,” he said.
Of late, Khurshid has not been toeing the party line and has opposed some of the Congress’ decisions, the recent one being the notice about the impeachment of CJI Dipak Misra. When asked about the motion, Khurshid said he was saddened at the developments and asserted that the notice would not lead to any straightforward resolution.