A day after Rahul Gandhi admitted in a TV interview that some Congress leaders were “probably” involved in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots but did not apologise for the carnage, the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ally, Akali Dal, criticised the Congress vice-president and accused the party of failing to contain the riots.
“In 1984, a slogan, khoon ka badla khoon [blood for blood], started in the afternoon of October 31, 1984, at the AIIMS, where Indira Gandhi’s body lay. Congress leaders were seen leading the mobs,” Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday.
Punjab Chief Minister and Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal called for a resolution in Parliament to apologise for the carnage. Alleging that the Congress government turned a blind eye to the 1984 riots, Mr. Jaitley said: “Nowhere did the police [in Delhi] fire a single bullet to disperse the mobs. Cases were not investigated.” This was in contrast to the Modi government’s response to the riots during which “the badly overpowered police opened fire at several places.”
The BJP demanded that Mr. Gandhi “publicly express regret” for his “irresponsible” remarks and “wild allegations” that the Modi government had encouraged the riots. The party said the remark betrayed his “ignorance.”