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BJP seeks apology for Rahul’s riot remarks

Rahul, who break his silence after 10 years through a formal interview, claimed that there is a difference between the 1984 riots and the 2002 riots in Gujarat.  ‘In 1984, the government was trying to stop the violence while in Gujarat under the chief minister ship of Narendra Modi, the government was abetting and pushing the riots,’ he said in his interview on Monday. Coming down heavily on Rahul’s allegation, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, ‘Rahul is ill-informed about the riots. In 1984, police hardly fired at the rioters, it was in collusion with the government.

In Gujarat, 300 rioters died in police firing. Around 65,000 rioters were arrested in Gujarat. More than 4,000 cases have been charge-sheeted and hundreds have been convicted.’

While praising Modi, he further said, ‘The chief minister of Gujarat has gone through enquiries. What did Congress do in 1984? Which Congressman has ended in jail because of 1984? The call for khoon ka badla khoon (an eye for an eye) was heard in All India Institute of Medical Sciences when former PM Indira Gandhi was taken to the hospital after being shot by her Sikh bodyguards.’

On the context of Rahul’s refusal to apologise, he said, ‘We are not expecting him to apologise. We just want him to correct the history.’ Another party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad lambasted Rahul by saying, ‘He knew the Congress would be defeated in the Lok Sabha polls a few months from now and was shying away from a debate with our prime ministerial candidate. He had no answer to the repeated questions on Modi being given a clean chit for the Gujarat riots. When he was asked why he chose to run away from a direct competition with Modi, he had nothing to say. He has nothing to say on corruption.’

He further said, ‘We want him to reveal the names of the Congressmen involved in the 1984 riots. He must publicly express regret for his statement on the 2002 riots. How can he be so irresponsible as to make such wild allegations against Modi? We condemn his statement. The Congress vice-president had failed to emerge as a leader who could generate some hope.’

BJP’s Subramanian Swamy questioned Congress party’s stand on 1984 riots, and asked, ‘Did former PM Rajiv Gandhi preside over the massacre of Sikhs in 1984?’

SAD leader Manjit Singh reacted strongly by saying that Sikhs need justice, not an apology. ‘Even after more than 30 years Rahul is saying some Congress men were probably involved. He should name them and ensure punishment’.
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