“Neither my party nor do I support the 1984 (anti-Sikh) riots. Sonia Gandhi visited Golden Temple and apologised in front of the media. Manmohan Singh also apologised in Parliament. In the last 33 years, the BJP has been adding insult to our injury. Can Narendra Modi visit the Jama Masjid and apologise for 1992 riots?” the Congress leader from Punjab said at an event organized by News18 India.
The 1984 riots were triggered by the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguard months after Operation Blue Star. The 1992 riots broke out following the demolition of Ayodhya’s Babri Masjid by kar sevaks.
Hitting back, BJP chief Amit Shah said the Congress was raking up the riots to get electoral mileage in Gujarat.
कांग्रेस के एक प्रवक्ता ने कहा की पीएम श्री मोदी को 2002 के दंगों के लिए जमा मस्जिद में जाकर माफ़ी मांगनी चाहिए। पूरा देश जनता है कि 2002 के दंगों में कांग्रेस से प्रेरित NGO ने जितने भी फर्जी आरोप लगाये थे, सभी मामलों में मोदी जी पर कोई भी आरोप सिद्ध नहीं हुआ : श्री @AmitShah— BJP (@BJP4India) December 10, 2017
“Jignesh Mewani's pictures of accepting money from PFI has gone viral. PFI has always indulged in anti-national activities. Rahul Gandhi meets such a person who has relations with an anti-national outfit & Congress gives up its seat for him for vote bank consolidation,” Shah said at a press conference.
Sapra’s comments come amid a heated campaign in Gujarat where the BJP is attempting to retain power for the fifth consecutive term while the Congress is gunning for a revival.
Phase 1 of the voting in Saurashtra and south Gujarat regions was held on Saturday and saw a 68% turnout, while the second round will be held on December 14.
Addressing an election rally in Banaskantha’s Palanpur, Modi on Sunday against launched a scathing attack on suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar for his “neech” remark.
“The same Mani Shankar Aiyar who insulted Gujarat held secret meetings with the Pakistan High Commissioner. Why? Why are people who held posts in Pakistan’s military establishment pitching for (Congress leader) Ahmed Patel to be CM? Why is Pakistan interfering in Gujarat elections?”
Modi was referring to an appeal purportedly by former director general of the Pakistan Army, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that Ahmed Patel be made Gujarat CM.
"There were media reports yesterday about a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. It was attended by Pakistan's high commissioner, Pakistan's former foreign minister, India's former vice president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh. The meeting at Aiyar's house carried on for almost three hours. The next day, Mani Shankar Aiyar said Modi was 'neech'. This is a serious matter,” the PM said.
"(On one side) Pakistan Army's former DG is interfering in Gujarat's election, on the other side, Pakistan's people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house," he said.
Soon-to-be Congress chief Rahul Gandhi also kept up his attack on the PM, saying he talks only of himself. “I listened to Modi’s speech yesterday. Almost 90% of the speech was about him,” Gandhi said at a rally in Dakor region of Gujarat.
However, referring to Aiyar’s remark against the PM, Gandhi reiterated that no Congressman should use foul language against the PM. “He is the PM. Don’t use abusive words.”
The prestige battle between the two parties will be decided on December 18 when counting for the Gujarat elections is held.