Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday issued an extraordinary clarification on the controversial comments by his close aide Sam Pitroda. Fearing electoral consequences in Punjab in this year’s Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi wrote on Facebook that what Pitroda said on the 1984 anti-Sikh genocide was ‘completely out of line.’
He wrote, “I think what Sam Pitroda Ji said is completely out of line and he should apologise for it. I think 1984 was a needless tragedy that caused tremendous pain.
“I think justice has to be done. The people who were responsible for the 1984 tragedy have to be punished. The Former PM, Manmohan Singh Ji has apologised. My mother, Sonia Gandhi Ji has apologised. We all have made our position very clear – that 1984 was a terrible tragedy and should never have happened.”
He said that he will communicating his disapproval to Piroda, adding that he must apologise. “What Mr. Sam Pitroda has said is absolutely and completely out of line and is not appreciated. I will be communicating this to him directly. He must apologise for his comment,” Gandhi concluded.
Pitroda on Thursday had made light of the 1984 anti-Sikh genocide by saying ‘1984 mein hua toh hua (It happened in 1984, so what?)’
His comments had given fodder to BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wasted no time in launching a tirade against the Congress ahead of the crucial Lok Sabha polls in Punjab. Modi said, “Yesterday a senior leader of the Congress said about the 1984 riots ‘it happened so what.’ Do you know who this leader is. This leader is the most closest to the Gandhi family…This leader is the guru of Congress President (Rahul Gandhi).”
Faced with widespread condemnation, Pitroda had said on Friday that he was sorry for his comments and what he meant was ‘move on.’
All 13 seats of Punjab will go to polls on 19 May with counting scheduled for 23 May.