Terming the Congress as a party with a “confused leader and diffused thinking” that is struggling to get 50 Lok Sabha seats in the ongoing elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi renewed his attack over Sam Pitroda’s “hua to hua” remark on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and said that Congress president Rahul Gandhi should feel ashamed of it.
At a rally in Bathinda in favour of Akali nominee and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Modi said he wanted to know if Rahul reprimanded Pitroda for “letting out” what Rahul’s family thought of the riots.
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On May 9, Pitroda had said “hua to hua (it happened, so what?)” when asked about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Jagdish Kaur, the main complainant in the riots case against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the violence, also shared the dais at the Bathinda rally.
Without naming Pitroda, Modi said the “hua to hua” remark by Rahul Gandhi’s mentor, who had “specially come from America” reflects the Congress’s thinking and arrogance. “From Bathinda, I want to ask Congress on behalf of entire Punjab that for how long would it continue to rub salt on our wounds,” Modi said.
“The ‘naamdaar’ (dynast) told his mentor that he should feel ashamed of what he said. I want to ask why the ‘naamdaar’ (dynast) was pretending to reprimand his mentor. Was it because the mentor made public what was in the heart and discussions within the Congress? Was the mentor being reprimanded for letting the family talk?” Modi asked in his 20-minute speech.
Kaur asked the gathering not to vote for Congress as it would be an insult to martyrs. She said she would soon get a case filed against slain Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi since he was the “biggest murderer who protected the perpetrators” of the riots. Referring to Pitroda’s statement, Kaur said it showed that the Congress had no remorse.
At another rally in Solan in Himachal Pradesh, Modi alleged that the Congress’s “hua to hua” mentality has weakened the country’s security policy.
The Prime Minister alleged that the Congress treated defence deals as “ATMs” to make money. Modi said that when he assumed charge as the Prime Minister in 2014, he found that more than 70 per cent of the defence equipment were imported. “The high import was because defence deals were like ATMs for them (the Congress) to extract money, so they didn’t let the country become self-dependent (in terms of production of defence equipment). There is no defence deal in which serious allegations of corruption have not been levelled against them,” he said.
Stating that the country had up to “150 years of expertise and experience in manufacturing defence equipment” at the time of Independence, while China had no defence manufacturing units at the time, he said that the situation is the opposite now.
He said that while China has premier defence exports, India is now a big importer of defence equipment. He said the BJP had tried to change the situation. “The BJP government has tried to change this in the past five years. There has been an increase of 80 per cent in manufacturing of defence equipment,” he said.
At another rally in Madhya Pradesh, Modi targeted Rajiv Gandhi again for the alleged misuse of INS Viraat, comparing the supreme sacrifice of a lieutenant commander who died fighting fire on INS Vikramaditya with “picnicking on a war vessel”.
His remarks came at a rally in Ratlam, where Lt Commander Dharmendra Singh Chouhan was cremated on April 29. Chouhan had sustained severe burns while dousing a fire on board INS Vikramaditya and had died during treatment at a Navy hospital.
“I pay my tributes to Lt Commander Dharmendra Singh who made the supreme sacrifice while saving a war vessel. On the other hand what does the Congress’s naamdar family do? They use the war vessel for picnic. When questioned, they defend it shamelessly, carelessly and without fear, saying ‘hua to hua’,” Modi said, adding that the last three words are a reflection of the Congress’s ideology, attitude and arrogance.
“Whether it’s the Bofors scam, submarine scam, helicopter scam or death of security personnel due to lack of bulletproof jackets… they have the same response,” he said.
Modi insisted there is a wave in his favour and criticised “pundits in Delhi” for not acknowledging it. “Youngsters are voting because they want to secure the 21st century and women because of the law providing death penalty for rape. There is a wave in every home.”
Beginning his speech with ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ which he called “our culture”, Modi claimed the Congress has a problem with the slogan. “They like to hurl abuses but can’t say Bharat Mata ki jai. Does the country need rashtrabhakti or gaali bhakti,” he said.