Senior Congress leader Sam Pitroda on Friday apologised for his comment on 1984 anti-Sikh riots saying his remark was misrepresented and blown out of proportion. "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," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Pitroda, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi and Overseas Congress' head, on Thursday had said, 'hua to hua' (So what, it happened) about the anti-Sikh riots. He made this remark in response to a question on the riots by a newsman in Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh.
Sam Pitroda, Congress: 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. https://t.co/PV5Im5hzce— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
Pitroda also accused the BJP of twisting the three words in Hindi on the riots to "distort facts, divide us (Congress) and hide their failures".
“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,” Pitroda said.
Earlier, the BJP demanded that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi apologise to the nation while ally Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife and union minister Harsimrat Kaur said the comments were "disgraceful" and reflected the mindset of the Gandhis.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it is a matter of disgrace that the party had no remorse over the Sikh killings and wondered if Rahul Gandhi would "oust his Guru" for the remarks.
Latching on to Pitroda's remarks, PM Modi kept up his attack on the Congress while addressing a poll rally in Rohtak in Haryana.
“How Congress ran this country for 70 years, how their mind works, how they are filled with arrogance, they themselves yesterday summed this up in three words. Congress, which ruled for maximum period, has been so much 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,” the prime minister said.
Union minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said the statement by Pitroda was "irresponsible".
"Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi must apologise for Sam Pitroda's irresponsible statement," he told reporters.
Javadekar said Rahul Gandhi's guide and Rajiv Gandhi's colleague Pitroda had made "a very condemnable" remark in public discourse.
"Today, he has made an even a more dangerous statement. He says that I can acknowledge the pain of Sikh community, but it is not relevant today," he said.