Preposterous to blame entire party for 1984 riots: Cong

Gandhi, who was on a two-day visit to the UK, told an audience of UK-based parliamentarians and local leaders on Saturday that the incident was a tragedy and painful experiences, but disagreed with the view that the Congress was "involved". (PTI File Photo)

The Congress on Sunday launched a counter-attack against Akali Dal and the BJP for criticising Rahul Gandhi for his 1984 anti-Sikh riots remarks and insisted that the party was “never collectively involved” in the “tragic events” that unfolded after Indira Gandhi’s assassination.

“To blame the entire party for the acts of a few was preposterous and typical of the political immaturity of Sukhbir,” Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said in Chandigarh referring to the remarks of Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal.

In Delhi, Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said 492 people were convicted for their involvement in anti-Sikh riots and many party leaders faced “serious harm” to their political careers.

Singhvi cited the examples of senior Congress leaders HKL Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler.

“A large number have faced criminal prosecution, some have been convicted, some are pending but the Congress has never interfered,” Singhvi told a press conference here.

The Congress has been pushed on the back foot after Rahul told an audience of UK-based parliamentarians and local leaders in London on Friday that the 1984 riot was a “very painful tragedy”, but disagreed with the view that the Congress was involved.

Singhvi dared the Akali Dal to ask Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah how many BJP leaders faced prosecution and were convicted for their role in the 2002 post-Godhra riots.

Singhvi said the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi had apologised for the anti-Sikh riots and wondered whether Modi had done the same for the 2002 riots as it had happened when the Congress was in power.

“None of this has been done by Modi or BJP regarding the Gujarat incidents,” Singhvi said.

Singhvi accused the BJP of “constantly distorting” Rahul's remarks. “Doing so is not going to convert untruth and lies into truth,” the Congress spokesperson said.

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Preposterous to blame entire party for 1984 riots: Cong

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