Chandigarh: Congress president Rahul Gandhi Friday termed party leader Sam Pitroda’s controversial remarks about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots as being “absolutely and completely out of line” and asked him to apologise.
“I think that’s completely out of line and I think he should apologise for this… I think 1984 was a tragedy. It caused tremendous pain to the people. And I think he absolutely owes everybody an apology,” Gandhi said in an exclusive interview to ThePrint in Chandigarh Friday evening.
“And what Mr Sam Pitroda has said is absolutely and completely out of line. I haven’t spoken to him but I will, I will personally speak to him and tell him that I don’t appreciate this type of nonsense.”
On Thursday, Pitroda had sought to dismiss questions about anti-Sikh riots saying “hua toh hua (it happened, it happened)”, triggering strong criticism from the BJP and other political parties.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too slammed the Congress over Pitroda’s comments, saying the “three words” reflected the character, mentality and intentions of the Congress.
This come barely 10 days before the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab on 19 May.
Sonia, Manmohan apologised for ’84 riots
The Congress president further said the 1984 riots were “a tragedy” and that then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his mother Sonia Gandhi, who was the president of the party in 2005, “apologised” for the riots that year.
“I think justice has to be done. The people who are responsible have to be brought to book and should be punished… The (former) PM has apologised. My mother has apologised. We all have made our position very clear on that, that it was tragedy.”