Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s remarks on the 1984 Sikh riots have created a storm among the political parties including BJP and Akali Dal. RaGa who is on a two-day visit to the UK, on Sunday told the parliamentarians and local leaders while the riot was a tragedy and perpetrators should be punished, he did not agree with the view that Congress party was involved in the riots.
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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh took side of the Congress President and said that Congress as a party was not involved in the riots while the party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi questioned that what action was taken by the BJP government when 2002 riots happened in Gujarat.
“I have no confusion in my mind about that. It was a tragedy, it was a painful experience. You say that the Congress party was involved in that, I don’t agree with that,” he said that referring to the Sikh riots in which 3000 Sikhs were killed and after that Rahul Gandhi’s grandmother Indira Gandhi died was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards.
Several Congress leaders, including Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar are still under investigation related to the riots.
According to the reports, the first one to hit out at RaGa was Akali leader Sukhbir Singh Badal who said “Rahul Gandhi has rubbed salt into the wounds of Sikh ‘quom’ (community) by saying that Congress was not involved in 1984 anti-Sikh riots.”
BJP could not have agreed more with Akali Dal, BJP national secretary RP Singh said such remarks will vitiate the atmosphere and questioned why then in 2005, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh apologised in parliament and party president Sonia Gandhi expressed regret. “What was this apology from prime minister and regret from Congress president then all about,” Mr Singh asked.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh hit back saying that when the riots happened Congress President Rahul Gandhi was studying in the school so why to blame him?
“The Congress, as a party, was never involved in the riots that continue to haunt the Sikh community,” the chief minister said. “To blame the entire party for the acts of a few was preposterous … whosoever was involved in the senseless killings in 1984 should be hanged, irrespective of political affiliations,” he added.