Rahul Gandhi Asks Sam Pitroda to Apologise, Says Comments on 1984 Riots 'Completely Out of Line'
Earlier on Friday, Pitroda expressed contrition and sought to clarify his stand after the Congress distanced itself from his statement.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. (Image : INC/Twitter)
New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that Sam Pitroda should apologise for his remarks dismissing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots that took place in the aftermath of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
“I think what Sam Pitroda ji said is completely out of line and he should apologise for it,” said Gandhi. “I think 1984 was a needless tragedy that caused tremendous pain.”
Pitroda, the chief of the Overseas Congress, is considered to be close to Gandhi. On Thursday, Pitroda reportedly said “hua to hua (so what, it happened)” about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, leading to massive criticism from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP.
Earlier on Friday, Pitroda expressed contrition and sought to clarify his statement, claiming his remark had been “misrepresented” as he could not speak Hindi very well. This happened a few hours after the Congress distanced itself from the statement and said Pitroda’s words did not reflect the party’s stand.
“What I meant was move on. We have other issues to discuss as to what the BJP government did and what it delivered. I feel sorry that my remark was misrepresented, I apologise. This has been blown out of proportion," Pitroda said.
The Congress in a statement has advised its leaders “to be careful and sensitive”.
“I think justice has to be done. The people who were responsible for the 1984 tragedy have to be punished,” said Gandhi. “Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ji has apologised. My mother, Sonia Gandhi ji, has apologised. We all have made our position very clear — that 1984 was a terrible tragedy and should never have happened.”
“What 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 added.
Hitting out at the Congress, Modi had said that Pitroda’s statement was reflective of his party’s “mentality” and “arrogance”. Modi said the comments must not be taken as an individual’s statement, but as an overarching sentiment of the Congress party.
Criticising the Congress over a “lack of remorse”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had dared Rahul Gandhi to sack “his guru” for the statement.
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