Rahul Gandhi said that 1984 was a tragedy. (File Photo: PTI)
Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday slammed senior party leader Sam Pitroda for his controversial ‘hua to hua’ remark about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots saying ‘I don’t appreciate this type of nonsense,” reported The Print.
“I think that’s completely out of line and I think he should apologise for this… I think 1984 was a tragedy. It caused tremendous pain to the people. And I think he absolutely owes everybody an apology...And what Mr Sam Pitroda has said is absolutely and completely out of line. I haven’t spoken to him but I will, I will personally speak to him and tell him that I don’t appreciate this type of nonsense," Gandhi told ThePrint in an exclusive interview.
Earlier in the day, Pitroda 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.
“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,” he said.
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 poll rallies in Rohtak and Mandi in Haryana and Himachal Pradesh respectively.
“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.”
“And which were these words, these were 'hua toh hua',” said PM Modi referring to Pitroda's remarks.
'Hua to hua,' PM Modi repeated a number of times during the course of his speech in Rohtak.
“We can very well understand arrogance of Congress and those who run it in these three words--hua to hua,” said Modi.
“Yesterday, one of the tallest leaders of the Congress speaking in a loud voice on 1984 said '84 ka danga hua to hua'. Do you know who this leader is, he is very close to the Gandhi family, he keeps meeting them on daily basis and is their biggest confidant. This leader was very good friend of (late) Rajiv Gandhi and he is Guru of Congress 'naamdar' (dynast) president,” he said.
“For them, they have no value for life, for them a human being is not a human being,” said Modi.
In Mandi, PM Modi said Pitroda's remarks reflected Congress' mindset.
Stating that the Congress had strived to ensure justice for the 1984 riot victims, Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party continued to support the quest for justice and stern punishment for those found guilty in the anti-Sikh riots, as also the subsequent acts of violence, including the 2002 riots in Gujarat.