New Delhi: With the controversy over Sam Pitroda’s ‘hua toh hua’ on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots refusing to die down, the Congress on Friday issued a statement clarifying its stand on the issue. (Catch Complete Coverage of Lok Sabha Elections 2019 Here)

Condemning violence and riots and calling them unacceptable, the statement said that the party leadership has “strived to ensure justice for 1984 riot victims”.

Washing its hands of Pitroda’s comment, the party said, “Any opinion remark made by any individual to the contrary, including Shri Sam Pitroda, is not the opinion of the Congress party. We advise all leaders to be careful and sensitive.”

Interestingly, the statement twice refers to 2002 Godhra riots which had put PM Modi, then the chief minister of the state, under the cloud. It says the party “believes that justice should be done to 1984 riots victims as also to 2002 Gujarat riots victims.”

Drawing parallels with the BJP, it said that unlike the saffron party which had fielded a candidate “charged with terror crimes… Congress party has shown the moral and political courage to punish people and leaders accused of violence/role in 1984.

Hitting out at PM Modi, the statement signs off with, “For BJP, riots are a 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 Shri Narendra Modi.”

Pitroda’s remark hasn’t found acceptance from other party leaders. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said, “I have said it already, I don’t accept that statement. It’s the duty of the successive governments to find out how it happened, who all were responsible. It must be found, it doesn’t matter how many years have passed.”

Earlier, PM Modi had attacked the Congress for Pitroda’s callous comment. He said, “Many Sikhs in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were targeted during the 1984 riots but today Congress is saying ‘hua toh hua’. More than 2,800 Sikhs were killed in Delhi but Congress says ‘hua toh hua’. They have no value for lives,” the PM had added.