The BJP and SAD on Tuesday attacked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his comments Monday on the 2002 post-Godhra and 1984 anti-Sikh riots during an interview with Times Now.
The BJP refuted Rahul’s remarks alleging complicity of the Gujarat government during the Godhra riots while rejecting similar suggestions regarding the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The BJP asserted that the Gujarat administration led by Narendra Modi ensured the victims got justice while charging the Congress of denying justice to the victims of anti-Sikh violence.
“The slogan ‘Khoon ka badla khoon’ was raised on the afternoon of October 31, 1984 at AIIMS, where Mrs Gandhi’s body lay. Congress leaders were seen leading the mobs and Sikhs were massacred at thousands of places,” Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.
“What has Rahul Gandhi to say on the famous statement of Rajiv Gandhi — ‘When big tree falls, the earth shakes’,” BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad highlighted while addressing a press conference.
The BJP sought to take a moral high ground pointing that not only did Narendra Modi get a clean chit but the state administration also effectively dealt with the post-Godhra riots and subsequent prosecution. In contrast, it highlighted, that the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh violence are still waiting for justice.
Ravi Shankar Prasad summed Rahul’s interview as a “performance of evasion, which was amateurish, rank falsehood and unfortunately of rank ignorance” of “a leader unsure of himself” whose “inadequacies” were displayed during the interaction.
Meanwhile, SAD attacked Rahul for his comments that the Congress government had tried to stop the 1984 riots in Delhi. SAD president and Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal urged the whole (Sikh) community to boycott Congress after the “admission” by “all in all of the party” that some party leaders were involved in 1984 riots.
He added that the court should take suo motu notice of Rahul’s statement and immediately register a case.
The SAD chief added: “I was watching Rahul’s interview where he says the then Congress government tried to stop riots. The fact is that government did not stop but supported the riots.” Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal also demanded a resolution in Parliament by the Congress apologising for the 1984 riots.
‘Post-Godhra riots were orchestrated’
NEW DELHI: The Congress Tuesday came out in full support of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s views and his contrast of the 1984 and 2002 riots arguing that while the 84 riots were a “spontaneous” reaction, the post-Godhra riots were orchestrated.
The Congress also pointed out that the Supreme Court had moved hundreds of trials in riot cases out of Gujarat in a clear “vote of no confidence” on the state government as it was felt that “impartial, fair dispensation of justice” cannot happen under Modi’s watch. On the other hand, there were around 442 convictions in connection with the 1984 riots. Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, however, parried questions on whether the party has acted against Congressmen found involved in the 84 riots merely pointing out that the political careers of ministers and very senior Congress leaders have had an adverse effect. ENS