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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

‘Was misrepresented’: Sam Pitroda apologises for 1984 riots remark

The Congress, which has been pummeled by the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Pitroda’s “Hua toh hua“ remark, has also told other leaders to be “careful and sensitive”.

india Updated: May 10, 2019 18:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Earlier,  the Congress distanced itself from Pitroda’s comment on the 1984 riots that has set up a huge controversy, underlining that the party supports the “quest for justice” for the victims.
Earlier, the Congress distanced itself from Pitroda’s comment on the 1984 riots that has set up a huge controversy, underlining that the party supports the “quest for justice” for the victims.
         

Senior Congress leader Sam Pitroda on Friday said that he was misrepresented over his “hua toh hua” remark over the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and expressed regret over the controversial statement.

“What I meant was move on. We have other issues to discuss as to what BJP government did and what it delivered. I feel sorry that my remark was misrepresented, I apologise. This has been blown out of proportion

Clarifying further, Pitroda said: “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.”

Earlier, the Congress distanced itself from Pitroda’s comment on the 1984 riots that has set up a huge controversy, underlining that the party supports the “quest for justice” for the victims.

The party, which has been pummeled by the ruling BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Pitroda’s “Hua toh hua“ remark, has also told other leaders to be “careful and sensitive”.

“We continue to support the quest for justice and stern punishment for those found guilty in 1984 riots as also the frequent acts of violence, including the 2002 Gujarat riots. Any opinion remark made by any individual to the contrary, including Sam Pitroda, is not the opinion of the Congress party,” said a party statement.

The Congress’s clarification came hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told an election rally in Haryana’s Rohtak that Pitroda’s remark was a reflection of the Congress’s “arrogance and character”.

“It is not a one-off statement by a particular leader,” PM Modi later told news agency ANI.

“It reflects the Congress’s mentality, they have done this for years. Rajiv Gandhi had said ‘when a big tree falls earth shakes’,” the prime minister said, recalling how Kamal Nath – who was appointed and then replaced as Punjab in-charge, was later appointed chief minister of Madhya Pradesh. “So don’t take this as an individual’s statement,” he said.

Sam Pitroda, in charge of the Indian Overseas Congress, made the remarks on Thursday while replying to questions on the BJP’s claim that the 1984 riots took place on the orders of former PM Rajiv Gandhi.

“I don’t think so, this is also another lie, and what about 1984? You speak about what you have done in five years. It happened in 1984, so what? (1984 hua toh hua). What have you done?” Pitroda was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

On Friday, Pitroda accused the BJP of “twisting his words and distorting facts” to “hide their failures”. “I acknowledged the pain of my Sikh brothers and sisters during difficult times in 1984 and deeply feel for the atrocities that happened. But these are things from past that are not really relevant to this election which is all about what did Modi government do for the last five years,” Pitroda tweeted.