‘Hua to hua’ portrays the anti-Sikh mindset of Cong: Modi
After giving the BJP a handle to beat the Congress, Sam Pitroda, the close associate of party president Rahul Gandhi, on Friday apologised for his controversial “hua to hua” (so what) comment on 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi latched on to the comments saying these words reflect the “character, mentality and intentions of the Congress”.
“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,” said Pitroda after his remarks on Thursday prompted attacks on him by BJP leaders led by the Prime Minister himself.
While apologising for his remark, Pitroda accused the BJP of “distorting the truth” and said things of the past are not relevant in this election and the saffron party has nothing positive to offer and is attacking the Congress with lies.
Referring to Pitroda’s remarks, Modi told a rally in Haryana, “Congress, which ruled for a maximum period, has been insensitive and that is reflected by the three words spoken yesterday…These words have not been spoken just like that, these words are character and mentality and intentions of the Congress. And which were these words, these were ‘hua to hua’.”
Pitroda, Modi said, was “very good friend” of Rajiv Gandhi, and is very close to Gandhi family and is “Guru of Congress ‘naamdar’ (dynast) president” Rahul Gandhi.
The BJP deployed its Union Ministers and spokespersons saying the party has no remorse on the genocide of patriotic community and sought to know whether Rahul would dismiss his “Guru” who is “rubbing salts on the wounds” of Sikhs.
The Congress on its part has distanced itself from Pitroda’s “so what” remarks on the anti-sikh riots and asked the leaders of the party to be careful and sensitive in future.
Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the party abhorred violence of any kind against any person or group of people on the basis of caste, creed, colour, region or religion, adding that riots and violence had no place in the Indian society.
“Violence and riots are unacceptable and unpardonable in our society… 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,” Surjewala said in a statement.
Stating that the Congress had strived to ensure justice for the 1984 riot victims, Surjewala said the party continued to support the quest for justice and stern punishment for those found guilty in the anti-Sikh riots, as also the subsequent acts of violence, including the 2002 riots in Gujarat.
The Congress spokesperson added that unlike the ruling BJP, which had fielded a candidate charged with terror crimes and who was being lauded as the saffron party’s face by Modi himself, the Congress had shown the moral and political courage to punish the leaders accused of violence or involvement in the 1984 riots.
Pitroda, a US-based long-time adviser of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and now that of Rahul, has apparently made a similar gaffe some time back while speaking on the IAF strike in ‘Balakot’ in Pakistan giving the BJP a handle to attack the Congress.
This time round when seven seats of Delhi and 13 Lok Sabha seats of Punjab and one of Chandigarh, with sizeable Sikh population, are to go to polls on the last two phases of elections on May 12 and May 19, Pitroda seems to have again stirred the poll pot by saying Sikh riots “hua to hua”.
Attacking Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it was a matter of disgrace that the party did not have any remorse, and wondered if Rahul Gandhi would “oust his Guru” for the remark.
In a series of tweets, Jaitley said it was a “matter of disgrace” that the Congress party has “no remorse” over the Sikh killings of 1984.
“Sam Pitroda’s ‘hua to hua’ reaction to the 1984 anti-Sikh killings is reflective of the lack of remorse on the part of Congress with respect to the 1984 genocide. Will the Congress president oust his ‘Guru’, who rubbishes the genocide of India’s most patriotic community in 1984?” Jaitley said.
Another Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi hit out at Pitroda saying he had rubbed salt into the wounds of the victims of the tragedy.
Describing the Congress as a “caucus of mentally bankrupt intellectuals”, Naqvi alleged that the Opposition party, through its “criminal silence” on Pitroda’s remarks, was once again trying to justify the brutal killings of Sikhs in 1984.
Union Minister Prakash Javadekar demanded that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi apologise to the nation over their leader Sam Pitroda’s reported remarks about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. Javadekar said Pitroda has made a very “irresponsible” statement about the riots.
“Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi must apologise for Sam Pitroda’s irresponsible statement that the ‘1984 Sikh genocide happened, so what’,” he told reporters.
Javadekar said that Rahul Gandhi’s guide and Rajiv Gandhi’s colleague Pitroda had made “a very condemnable” remark in public discourse.
He also claimed that Pitroda said Rajiv Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi would never target a group of people. “Then how he can explain Rajiv’s justification of 1984 Sikh genocide by saying ‘when a big tree falls, Earth tremors’. If this is not a justification then what it is,” he asked.
“He will say the communal politics by Rajiv Gandhi on Shah Bano issue is also not relevant,” the Union Minister claimed, adding that it was relevant, because these issues were being faced by the nation.
Saturday, 11 May 2019 | PNS | New Delhi
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