Congress leader Sam Pitroda has irked controversy over his comment on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots by saying “Hua to Hua” (what happened has happened) in a move to avoid questions on the matter on Thursday. As his comment triggered criticism from political parties cutting across ideological lines, Congress party president Rahul Gandhi termed his remark as "absolutely and completely out of line".
In a Facebook post on Friday, describing the riots—which claimed nearly 3,000 lives and calling it ‘terrible tragedy’ Rahul Gandhi said, "What 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." “I think 1984 was a needless tragedy that caused tremendous pain,” he added.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh termed the riot as "shocking", leading to a massive criticism from BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who said it had shown the Congress' "character and mentality".
"Congress, which ruled for a long time, has been insensitive and that is reflected by the three words spoken yesterday... these words have not been spoken just like that, these words represent the character and mentality and intentions of the Congress," PM Modi said.
In a statement, the Congres has advised its leaders “to be careful and sensitive”.
“I think justice has to be done. The people who were responsible for the 1984 tragedy have to be punished,” said Gandhi. “Former Prime Minister 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.”
“What 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 added.