Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an exclusive interview with News Nation, has launched a scathing attack on the Congress for Sam Pitroda’s comments on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. While speaking with News Nations’ Deepak Chaurasia and Peenaz Tyagi, Modi said Pitroda’s comment shows the “character and arrogance” of the Congress.
“If you are limiting yourself to SamPitroda, this is not right. When Rajiv Gandhi became prime minister, his first remark was ‘when a big tree falls, the Earth shakes.’ After that, whatever happened was in the continuity of that remark. There was such a big riot in Delhi, so many people died, but no curfew was imposed in the national capital. Not a single bullet was fired by the police. Those who shook earth were blessed,” Modi said in the interview.
“After that, the commissions were formed. In fact, a person was made Punjab elections in-charge. After a huge uproar over his role in 1984 riots, he was removed and later made the chief minister. The victims feel that they don’t care for us. Pitroda’s remark is part of that school of thought. The Congress party’s ego is at a peak, they don’t care about anything,” he added.
Pitroda, who is in charge of the Indian Overseas Congress, made the remarks on Thursday while replying to questions on the BJP’s claim that the 1984 riots took place on the orders of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.
“I don’t think so. This is also another lie. And what about 1984? You speak about what you have done in five years. It happened in 1984, so what? (1984 hua toh hua). What have you done?,” Pitroda was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
On Friday, Pitroda accused the BJP of “twisting his words and distorting facts” to “hide their failures”. “I acknowledged the pain of my Sikh brothers and sisters during difficult times in 1984 and deeply feel for the atrocities that happened. But these are things from past that are not really relevant to this election which is all about what did Modi government do for the last five years,” Pitroda tweeted.
The BJP had hit out at Pitroda for his comments and demanded an apology and a resignation. Union finance minister Arun Jaitley tweeted asking Congress president Rahul Gandhi if he will “oust his Guru”.
Later in the day, Rahul Gandhi said Pitroda has said something completely "out of line" and should apologise for his remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. "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 said.