Sukhbir Singh Badal speaks to journalists on Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s statement on 1984 riots.(ANI Photo) The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Saturday hit out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for saying that his party was not involved in the 1984 riots, saying his statement indicated he was with the perpetrators of the violence in which nearly 3,000 Sikhs were killed, mostly in the national capital.
The Congress defended its chief, saying he has not absolved anyone.
“Rahul Gandhi has conveyed a clear message, he is with those who killed innocents at that time. The statement given by Rahul Gandhi has added salt to the wounds of the victims,” Sukhbir Singh Badal, SAD president, said at a press conference, reported ANI.
Asked about Gandhi’s statement, senior Congress leader P Chidamabaram said that “a very terrible thing happened in 1984” for which prime minister Manmohan Singh had apologised in Parliament.
“You can’t hold Rahul Gandhi responsible for that, he was 13 or 14. He hasn’t absolved anyone,” he added.
To a question being asked by the CNN-News18 at an event on Friday in the UK Parliament about the 1984 riots, Gandhi had said: “I have no confusion in my mind about that. It was a tragedy, it was a painful experience. You say that the Congress party was involved in that, I don’t agree with that. Certainly there was violence, certainly there was tragedy”, according to an IANS report.
Later, during an interactive session at the London School of Economics (LSE) when he was again asked about the anti-Sikh riots and former prime minister Manmohan Singh’s statement on it, Gandhi said: “When Manmohan Singh spoke, he spoke for all of us. As I said earlier, I am a victim of violence and I understand what it feels.”
“So, I am against any sort of violence against anybody on this planet. I get disturbed when I see anybody being hurt. So, I condemn that 100 per cent and I am 100 per cent for punishment for those involved in any violence against anybody. That’s crystal clear,” he had said.>