During the run up to the seventh and last phase of elections for Lok Sabha, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday sought to embarrass the Congress by raking up Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s controversial ‘hua to hua’ (it happened, so what?) remark on 1984 anti-Sikh riot. On the other hand, Congress president Rahul Gandhi went on a damage control drive by denouncing Pitroda’s remarks and asking him to apologise.
At a rally at Solan in Himachal Pradesh, Modi stepped up his scathing attack on Pitroda saying that his utterances showed the arrogance of the Congress leaders. “These ‘naamdars’, instead of retrospection of their party’s misdeeds were abusing the ‘chowkidar’ (Modi),” Modi said. “Their mission is to tarnish my image but my mission is to make India the most powerful nation besides eliminating inflation, corruption and many more problems.”
Addressing a rally at Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab, Congress president Rahul Gandhi however said he asked Pitroda to apologise for his remark. Gandhi also said that those guilty of the 1984 riots should and would be punished. The anti-Sikh riots, which took place in the aftermath of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, left thousands of Sikh dead.
Pitroda, chief of Overseas Congress and considered to be close to Gandhi, had made his ‘hua to hua’ remark on last Thursday, giving enough ammunition to the rival Bharatiya Janata Party to corner the Congress.
Calling the riots totally wrong and tragic, Gandhi said that that he had personally called up Pitroda to demand an unequivocal apology, which the people of India wanted and deserved for his controversial remark. “Pitroda should be ashamed of his remark on the 1984 riots and should publicly apologise for it,” Gandhi said.
Launching an attack on Modi, Gandhi said that he had looted the common people through his ill-conceived demonetisation and GST (which he calls Gabbar Singh Tax) and given their hard-earned money to Ambani, Mallya, Chowksi and Nirav Modi. “Narendra Modi is now running scared of even debating with me on issues of corruption and Rafale as he had no answers to my questions,” he said.
Gandhi was quick to denounce Pitroda and distanced the party from his comment realising that his remarks could have been used by the BJP to the fullest to create anti-Congress feeling among the Sikhs in Punjab during elections.