Congress president Rahul Gandhi reemphasized on Monday that Sam Pitroda must apologize for his comments on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
“What Sam Pitroda said about 1984 is absolutely wrong and he should apologize to the nation for it. I told him this over the phone, I told him what he stated was wrong, he should be ashamed and apologize publicly,” Rahul Gandhi said at a rally in Punjab’s Fatehgarh on Monday, ANI reported.
On Friday, Pitroda, who is the chief of the Indian Overseas Congress, apologized for his “hua toh hua” remark over the 1984 riots. The remarks triggered a barrage of criticism, covering by his colleagues and by BJP leaders.
“One of the tallest leaders of the Congress, speaking in a loud voice on 1984, said, ‘84 ka danga hua to hua’. Do you know who this leader is, he is very close to the Gandhi family… this leader was a very good friend of Rajiv Gandhi and guru of Congress ‘naamdar’ (dynast) president,” Modi stated at a rally in Rohtak on Friday.
Senior leaders of the Congress distanced themselves from Pitroda’s remarks. “It is not the party’s stand, the party condemns it. All leaders should be careful about what they say,” Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said at a press conference in Delhi. “Congress has worked to provide justice to the victims of 1984 riots. No act of violence and riots can be forgiven,” he further said.
While apologising, Pitroda also stated his comment had been blown out of proportion. “My Hindi is not that good, I think in English and translate in Hindi… I could not translate bura in my mind… what I really meant to say is jo hua bura hua tha (what happened was bad),” he said.
The 1984 riots took place at the end of October-early November 1984 year when mobs, some allegedly including members of the Congress party, killed members of the Sikh community in retaliation for Indira Gandhi’s assassination.