The BJP on Friday demanded an apology from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi over Indian Oversees Congress chief Sam Pitroda's remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
"We demand that Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi must apologise for the worst comments made by Sam Pitroda which has hurt the people of the country," Union Minister Prakash Javadekar told the media here at his residence.
Pitroda had on Thursday brushed off the 1984 anti-Sikh riots saying, "It happened in 1984, so what?"
Look the Arrogance !— Major Surendra Poonia (@MajorPoonia) May 10, 2019
Mr Rahul Gandhi’s mentor Sam Pitroda saying ’Hua To Hua’..Ab kya hai 1984 ka’ Abt 84 Sikh riots.This proves that Congress planned/executed Sikh Genocide in 1984
Mr Pitroda,Hw will U feel if some1 murder your family n say same to U ?
इंसानियत है या नहीं आपमें? pic.twitter.com/FYS33wwVZ4
After a controversy erupted over his remarks, Pitroda on Friday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of twisting and distorting facts from his comments to divide the people and hide its 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. Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will never target a group of people based on creed," he said in a series of tweets.
I have noticed how BJP is again twisting three words from my interview to distort facts, divide us and hide their failures. Sad that they have nothing positive to offer.— Sam Pitroda (@sampitroda) May 10, 2019
I acknowledged the pain of my Sikh brothers and sisters during difficult times in 1984 and deeply feel for the atrocities that happened.— Sam Pitroda (@sampitroda) May 10, 2019
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.— Sam Pitroda (@sampitroda) May 10, 2019
Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will never target a group of people based on creed.— Sam Pitroda (@sampitroda) May 10, 2019
Reacting to the controversy, Pitroda further told: “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.
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,” Pitroda said.
Truth is being distorted, lies are being amplified through social media and targeted People are systematically being intimidated. However, truth will always prevail and lies will be exposed. It is just a matter of time. Have patience.— Sam Pitroda (@sampitroda) May 10, 2019
Reacting to his clarification, Javadekar said that Pitroda's explanation was even more dangerous as he acknowledged the pain of the Sikh community while saying that it was not relevant today.
"When Sikhs have not got justice how it is not relevant today? It is relevant today because it is an unsolved saga of atrocities and if atrocities and genocide against Sikhs are not relevant than tomorrow Sam Pitroda will say partition is not relevant, ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits is not relevant.
"He will say communal politics in Shah Bano case is also not relevant today. It is relevant because these are issues faced by the nation and nation has to debate it during elections," Javadekar added.
Slamming Pitroda for his remarks that late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi will never target a group of people based on creed, the Union Minister asked will he explain the justification of genocide by Rajiv Gandhi when he said when "big tree falls, earth trembles".
"Is this not supporting genocide?" he asked.
Filed a Police Complaint at Parliament Street Police Station today against Sam Pitroda for his recent statement regarding 1984 Sikh-massacre, insulting and hurting sentiments of our Sikh brothers and Sisters. pic.twitter.com/KR4TivhKtl— Chowkidar Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) May 10, 2019
BJP, SAD SLAM CONGRESS FOR SAM PITRODA'S '84 REMARKS
Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday attacked the Congress and its leader Sam Pitroda for the latter's remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Earlier on Thursday, Indian Oversees Congress chief Pitroda brushed off the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying, "It happened in 1984, so what?"
Reacting to the comment, SAD leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said that Congress' anti-Sikh mentality was clearly visible in Pitroda's remark.
BJP leader Prakash Javadekar demanded that Congress President Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi should apologise for Pitroda's remarks.
Sam Pitroda's 'Hua to Hua' reaction to the 1984 Sikh killings is reflective of the lack of remorse on the part of Congress Party with respect to the 1984 genocide.— Chowkidar Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) May 10, 2019
Javdekar said: "Today Pitroda said a shocking thing which nobody could expect. It is absolutely unacceptable and we, as a country, can not accept it. Sonia and Rahul should apologise for his remarks."
Sirsa, on the other hand, said that Congress' mentality has not changed even after 35 years.
"The Congress has yet again proved that its mentality against the Sikhs has not changed. Today Pitroda said '1984 has happened, so what?' He must have not lost anyone from his family."
Sirsa further said, "He (Rahul Gandhi) keeps on saying that his father (Rajiv Gandhi) and grandmother (Indira Gandhi) were assassinated. And Pitroda is saying so what if the riots happened. Six thousand people were killed in the anti-Sikh riots. Our daughters and sisters were raped.
And now, instead of giving us justice, you have kept the culprits with you. Pitroda has proved today that Gandhi family's heart is full of hatred against the Sikhs."
Sam Pitroda, Congress on his remarks on '84 riots: 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. pic.twitter.com/ZATArjpC79— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
'84 RIOTS A STAIN THAT CONGRESS CAN NEVER CLEAN: MODI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday hit out at the Congress over its leader Sam Pitroda's reported remarks "Hua to hua" (it just happened)on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying the "genocide" was stain that the opposition party can never clean.
Addressing his first election rally in Punjab ahead of the May 19 polls, the Prime Minister also said that Punjab can never forget the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
"See the arrogance of Congress that one of its leader said 'hua toh hua' to such a genocide. This is such a stain in the neck of the Congress which it can never clean. Can Punjab forget the 1984 riots," Modi said as he asked the crowd who was responsible for what happened in 1984.
#WATCH: PM Narendra Modi to ANI on Sam Pitroda's remarks on 1984 riots, "Reflects Congress's mentality. Rajiv Gandhi had said 'when a big tree falls earth shakes'. They even made Kamal Nath incharge of Punjab, now made him MP CM. So don't take this as an individual's statement" pic.twitter.com/V3MOJZMQYe— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
He said that for three decades, injustice was meted out to the Sikhs and now the Congress was saying "hua to hua".
"After three decades of making excuses and commissions, injustice was done to my Sikh brothers and sisters. Sometimes the Congress sprinkled salt on their wounds and sometimes it committed the sin of sprinkling acid. Now, they are saying 'hua toh hua'," the Prime Minister said.
Modi further said that Sikhs would get justice till the time he is the 'chowkidar' (watchman).
"In 2014, I had promised justice to the victims of 1984 riots. I had said that the murderers of Sikhs will not be spared. As soon as we came to power, we dug out the files. Today I am satisfied that those whom the 'namdars' tried to save have been sent to jail," he said.
#WATCH PM Modi in Rohtak, Haryana on Congress' Sam Pitroda's remark on 1984 riots: 'Hua so hua'-3 words that sum up Congress's arrogance were uttered y'day by one of its most senior leaders, he said this on anti-Sikh riots. They have no value for human life pic.twitter.com/HWhj7CVzhy— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
The Prime Minister said that the Congress always took the people of the country for granted, while the NDA led by the BJP understood the basic needs of the common people.
"Be it the farmers or the youth, opportunities are being created for everyone," he said.
The Prime Minister also took a dig at Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu over his prise for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and slammed the Congress over its Pakistan policy.
"When we were trying to find a solution to the Kartarpur Corridor issue, one of the Congress leaders started praising Pakistan. This is the politics of Congress which has promoted terrorism spread by Pakistan," Modi said.
#BREAKING: National Commission for Minorities sends notice to Sam Pitroda for saying ‘1984 mein hua to hua’ which has hurt the religious sentiments of the Sikh Community. Commission asks him to explain his position and tender an unconditional apology to Sikh community. pic.twitter.com/94AIptqMfM— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) May 10, 2019
CONGRESS DISTANCES ITSELF FROM PITRODA'S REMARKS
The Congress on Friday distanced itself from party leader Sam Pitordas "hua to hua" remarks in connection with the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, saying that it was not the party's opinion and all leaders should be careful and sensitive in their remarks.
In a statement, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala also raised the issue of the 2002 Gujarat riots when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Chief Minister and said the party continues to support the quest for justice and punishment for those responsible for all the riots.
Congress party issues statement over Sam Pitroda's remark on 1984 anti-Sikh riots. States, '...We continue to support the quest for justice for 1984 riot victims. Any opinion remark made by any individual to the contrary including Sam Pitroda is not the opinion of Congress party' pic.twitter.com/Yd1rxfYCYe— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
"Indian National Congress and its leadership have striven to ensure justice for 1984 riot victims. We continue to support the quest for justice and stern punishment for those found guilty of 1984 riots as also the subsequent acts of violence including the 2002 Gujarat riots.
"Any opinion or remark made by any individual to the contrary including Sam Pitroda is not the opinion of the Congress party. We advise all leaders to be careful and sensitive," he said.
R Gandhi: What Sam Pitroda said is completely out of line&he should apologise. People responsible for '84 tragedy have to be punished. Ex PM, Manmohan Singh has apologised. Sonia ji has apologised. Made our position very clear-'84 was a terrible tragedy&should never have happened pic.twitter.com/6KGLKzbsjn— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
Surjewala alleged that riots were "vote-garnering exercise" in every election for the BJP which did not work for "ensuring justice and closure" and people "should see through this Machiavellian game of deception, distraction and distortion by Narendra Modi".
Surjewala said Congress believes that justice should be done to 1984 riots victims as also to 2002 Gujarat riots victims.
"We abhor violence of any kind, against any person or a group of people based on their caste, colour, region or religion. This is the essence of India," he said.
Referring to Sadhvi Pragya who has been fielded by the BJP from Bhopal, Surjewala said that unlike the BJP, which has decided to field a candidate charged with terror crimes and is being lauded by none less than Modi himself, Congress has "shown the moral and political courage to punish people and leaders accused of violence/role in 1984".
Protests outside Congress President Rahul Gandhi's residence against Congress leader Sam Pitroda's remarks on 1984 anti-Sikh riots. | #CongKaSelfGoalHua— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) May 10, 2019
Ground report by @iMohit_Sharma. pic.twitter.com/ZzOeLEeZ2U
"This is the yardstick of self-imposed accountability and sense of justice to people followed by the Congress unlike the BJP," he said
Pitroda had, on Thursday, made a controversial remark about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots saying, "84 mein hua to hua (it happened in 1984, so what)".
I know @sampitroda. His heart beats for India like no other. He created India’s telecom revolution earning Rs 1/- per month for years. One of the few who gave up his USA citizenship and ensured that he was Indian in every sense. A true patriot.— Sanjay Jha (@JhaSanjay) May 10, 2019
Stop trolling him, hate-mongers
The 1984 riots in Delhi are a blot on humanity. @sampitroda ‘s statement is unfortunate and regrettable. The INC as a party and Former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh have repeatedly stated that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.— Manish Tewari (@ManishTewari) May 10, 2019
Delhi: BJP protests outside Congress President Rahul Gandhi's residence against Congress leader Sam Pitroda's remarks on 1984 anti-Sikh riots. pic.twitter.com/SIF7pD1Dcb— ANI (@ANI) May 10, 2019
#HuaToHua | A whole generation has passed but the mindset hasn't changed. Even if you're holding language as a defence, remember that this is the same Sam Pitroda who said why punish Pakistan for Pulwama: Dr Sudhanshu Trivedi, National Spokesperson, BJP pic.twitter.com/VF3GbjIwQJ— Republic (@republic) May 10, 2019
#HuaToHua | How old was Sam Pitroda in 1984? How can he give such an insensitive remark. He should be charged for hurting religious sentiments. They should declare it 'state-sponsored genocide': Ramnik Mann, Political Analyst pic.twitter.com/oTfvgZHzPi— Republic (@republic) May 10, 2019