Amid uproar, the Congress party on Friday distanced itself from senior party leader Sam Pitroda's remarks on 1984 anti-Sikh riots. "We continue to support the quest for justice for 1984 riot victims. Any opinion remark made by any individual to the contrary including Sam Pitroda is not the opinion of Congress party," the grand old party said in a statement.
"We believe that justice should be done to 1984 riots victims as also to 2002 Gujarat riots victims," the statement reads.
Congress party issues statement over Sam Pitroda's remark on 1984 anti-Sikh riots. States, '...We continue to support the quest for justice for 1984 riot victims. Any opinion remark made by any individual to the contrary including Sam Pitroda is not the opinion of Congress party' pic.twitter.com/Yd1rxfYCYe— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
Advising all leaders to be careful and sensitive, the Congress said that it abhor violence of any kind, against any person or a group of people based on their caste, colour, region or religion.
In an apparent dig to Bharatiya Janata Party's candidate from Bhopal Lok Sabha seat Sadhvi Pragya Thakur Singh, the Congress said the BJP has fielded a candidate charged with terror crimes.
"Lastly, unlike the BJP, which has decided to field a candidate charged with terror crimes and is being lauded as its face by none less than Shri Narendra Modi himself, Congress party has shown the moral and political courage to punish people and leaders accused of violence/role in 1984. This is the yardstick of self-imposed accountability and sense of justice to people followed by the Congress party, unlike the BJP," the grand old party said in the statement.
The clarification comes amid mounting pressure from the BJP which is demanding Congress president Rahul Gandhi to "oust his Guru" for the remark.
In a series of tweets, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it was a "matter of disgrace" that the Congress party has "no remorse" over the Sikh killings of 1984.
"Sam Pitroda's 'Hua to Hua' reaction to the 1984 Sikh killings is reflective of the lack of remorse on the part of Congress Party with respect to the 1984 genocide. Will the Congress President oust his 'Guru', who rubbishes the genocide of India's most patriotic community in 1984?" Jaitley said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress for its leader Sam Pitroda's reported remark , saying it showed the "character and mentality" of the party. The remarks reflect the "arrogance" of the Congress, he said addressing a poll rally on the last day of campaigning for the sixth phase here. PM Modi said, "Congress, which ruled for a maximum period, has been insensitive and that is reflected by the three words spoken yesterday...these words have not been spoken just like that, these words are character and mentality and intentions of the Congress."