New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that Sam Pitorda’s comments on 1984 Anti-Sikh riots were ‘absolutely wrong and he must apologise to the nation for it’. “Pitroda ji, what you had said was completely wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself. You should seek public apology. I am saying this publicly and I also said the same to him over phone,” said Rahul. while speaking at a poll rally in Punjab’s Fatehgarh Sahib.
Pitroda, who is in charge of the Congress’s overseas affairs had stoked a controversy with his ‘hua toh hua’ (whatever happened, happened)” remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. When asked about BJP’s claim that instructions to kill in 1984 had come from late former PM Rajiv Gandhi, the senior Congress leader had said,“Ab kya hai ’84 ka? Aapne kya kiya 5 saal mein, uski baat kariye. ’84 mein hua to hua. Aapne kya kiya? (What about 1984 now?. What have you done in 5 years, talk about that. What happened in 1984, happened).”
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However, a day after, Pitroda apologised and said his comments were ‘blown out of proportion’. “The statement I made was completely twisted, taken out of context because my Hindi isn’t good, what I meant was ‘jo hua vo bura hua,’ I couldn’t translate ‘bura’ in my mind,” the senior Congress leader had said while speaking to media. This happened a few hours after the Congress distanced itself from Pitroda’s remarks and said his words did not reflect the party’s stand.
Issuing a statement, party president Rahul Gandhi had earlier admitted what was said by Pitroda was “completely out of line”. In a Facebook post, Rahul said, “I think 1984 was a needless tragedy that caused tremendous pain. I think justice has to be done…the former PM, 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.”
He went on to add, “What Mr 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.”