Describing Sam Pitroda’s ‘hua toh hua’ remark on anti-Sikh riots as “completely out of line”, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday said he should apologise for it. “What Mr. Sam Pitroda has said is absolutely and completely out of line and is not appreciated. I will be communicating this to him directly. He must apologise for his comment,” Gandhi wrote on Facebook.
The Congress came under heavy criticism after Pitroda, a close aide of Gandhi and Overseas Congress’ head, stirred up a hornet’s nest after he reportedly said, “So what, it happened” while referring to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Prime Minister Narendra Modi mounted a fresh offensive at Congress and said it showed the “character and mentality” of the grand old party.
Gandhi further stated that 1984 was a “needless tragedy that caused tremendous pain”.
“I think justice has to be done. The people who were responsible for the 1984 tragedy have to be punished. The Former PM, Manmohan Singh Ji has apologised. My mother, Sonia Gandhi Ji has apologised. We all have made our position very clear – that 1984 was a terrible tragedy and should never have happened,” he wrote.
Earlier in the day, the Congress had distanced itself from Pitroda’s reported remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and advised leaders to be “careful and sensitive”.
“We continue to support the quest for justice and stern punishment for those found guilty in 1984 riots as also the subsequent acts of violence including the 2002 Gujarat riots. Any opinion remark made by any individual to the contrary including Shri Sam Pitroda is not the opinion of the Congress party,” the statement said.
Reacting to the controversy, Pitroda told ANI: “The statement I made was completely twisted, taken out of context because my Hindi isn’t good, what I meant was ‘jo hua vo bura hua,’ I couldn’t translate ‘bura‘ in my mind. What I meant was move on. We have other issues to discuss as to what BJP govt did and what it delivered. I feel sorry that my remark was misrepresented, I apologise. This has been blown out of proportion,” Pitroda said.
Targeting the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra had said Friday that it shows the “character, mentality and intentions” of the party. Addressing a rally at Rohtak in Haryana on the last day of campaigning for Phase 6, Modi, referring to the Congress, said “such people need to be taught a lesson on May 12” when 59 Lok Sabha seats go to polls across seven states including Haryana and Delhi.
Referring to Pitroda’s comments, the Prime Minister said: “Congress, which ruled for a long time, has been insensitive and that is reflected by the three words spoken yesterday. Do you want to know what those three words were? These words show the character, mentality and intentions of Congress party. These words were ‘hua toh hua’.”
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley too didn’t leave any stone unturned in slamming the Congress even as he wondered if Congress chief Rahul Gandhi will “oust his Guru” for showing no remorse over the killings.
Condemning the grand old party’s reaction to the 1984 genocide, Jaitley said, “It is a matter of disgrace that the Congress Party has no remorse over the Sikh killings of 1984.”
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