Congress Plays into BJP hand

New Delhi: Even though Congress leader Sam Pitroda made belated amends on Friday evening by clarifying that he had meant ‘jo hua wo bura hua [what happened was bad]’ with reference to anti-Sikh riots and not ‘hua-toh-hua,’ the collateral damage is done.  PM Modi took the cue and played on the words ‘hua to hua’ to attack the Congress, saying this “shows character and mentality” of the party.  “How the Congress ran this country for 70 years, how their mind works, how arrogant they are, they themselves summed this up in three words…And which were these words, these were ‘hua to hua’,” said Modi harping on Pitroda’s faux pas on anti-Sikh riots.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley joined the BJP chorus and asked Rahul Gandhi to oust Pitroda from the party. The BJP’s Delhi unit has asked the police to file an FIR against the Congress leader.  Pitroda tried explaining that he was unable to translate the word ‘bura’ as his Hindi is not good. He also alleged that his ‘hua-toh-hua’ statement was “completely twisted” and taken “out of context”.

Pitroda, who is seen to be a mentor to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, landed in trouble with his response to the BJP’s claim that the Nanavati Commission, which had probed the 1984 carnage, had said “instructions to kill” came directly from the office of then PM Rajiv Gandhi. Earlier in the day, the Congress distanced itself from the insensitive remark.  In an unsigned statement released by the AICC, the party stated its stand on violence and riots as “unacceptable and unpardonable” and said: “any opinion, 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.”

It said the Congress and its leadership have strived “to ensure justice for 1984 riot victims. We continue to support the quest for justice and stern punishment for those found guilty in 1984 riots, as also the subsequent acts of violence including the 2002 Gujarat riots.” “The Congress party believes that justice should be done to 1984 riots victims as also to 2002 Gujarat riots victims. We abhor violence of any kind, against any person or a group of people based on their caste, colour, region or religion. This is the essence of India.

“Lastly, unlike the BJP, which has decided to field a candidate charged with terror crimes and is being lauded as its face by none less than Narendra Modi himself, the Congress party has shown the moral and political courage to punish people and leaders accused of violence/role in 1984. This is the yardstick of self-imposed accountability and sense of justice to people followed by the Congress party, unlike the BJP,” the statement said. It added that “for BJP, riots are vote garnering exercise in every election, instead of ensuring justice and closure. People should see through this Machiavellian game of deception, distraction and distortion by Narendra Modi.”

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