Two days before polls, BJP tweets video of ’1984 riots

The Asian Age.  | sanjay kaw

Metros, Delhi

Victims of the 1984 riots predominantly live in pockets in east and west Delhi.

Family members of the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims shout slogans during a protest against Congress leader Sam Pitroda in New Delhi on Friday. (Photo: BUNNY SMITH)

New Delhi: Two days before voting for the seven Lok Sabha seats, the ruling BJP has tweeted a video of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The video posted on the BJP’s official twitter handle includes a clip of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi saying on the riots: “When a tree falls, the earth shakes.” Rajiv Gandhi, the father of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, was assassinated in 1991 by a Tamil Tigers suicide bomber.

His remarks on the carnage in which an estimated following the assassination of his mother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards, has often been held up as a display of Congress’s arrogance and callousness.

Delhi votes on Sunday in the sixth round of voting for the Lok Sabha election. Victims of the 1984 riots predominantly live in pockets in east and west Delhi. Because of the considerable Sikh population in Delhi, the riots remain an emotive issue during elections.

Several Congress leaders were accused of leading killer mobs that targeted Sikhs in Delhi. Some of them — Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler, Kamal Nath and late H.K.L Bhagat — are also shown in the video tweeted by the BJP, which is captioned: “This video will shake you to the core, now you have to decide.”

The BJP’s 1984 offensive gained more grist after Congress’s overseas chief Sam Pitroda reacted to a BJP claim that the Nanavati Commission had found that “instructions to kill” came directly from Rajiv Gandhi’s office. “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,” Mr Pitroda said.  Mr Pitroda, however,  on Friday apologised for his comments and said that what he meant was “move on”.

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