A day after Rahul Gandhi accused BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of abetting and pushing the riots in Gujarat in 2002, the Congress party came in defense of its Vice-President. Supporting Rahul over the remarks he made to an English news channel, Congress party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said that the 2002 case had to be transferred to another state so that the victims could get justice. He pointed out that this was the first time in the history of India that a riot-related court case was transferred to a different state, referring to 2002 Gujarat riots’ case, which was transferred to Maharashtra. This was quite evident that it happened because there was ‘clearest no-confidence vote’ on the Modi government following the Godhra riots. The victims needed an objective, impartial, dependable and fair verdict, which could not be accomplished in Gujarat because of Modi’s government involvement in such an act.
Supporting Rahul’s remarks on anti-Sikh riots, Singhvi said that several convictions also happened in 1984 following the assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. While 482 convictions took place in the riots in 1984, several Congress leaders lost their entire political careers. “Apart from apology, there has been a reconciliation for the last 20-30 years,” he said. Without disclosing any names, Singhvi said that the party had immediately taken political actions against those involved. Congress always follows court of law, which is equal for all with no distinction between the political leaders and the common man. This is quite evident with the fact that Congress refused to give Lok Sabha election tickets to two of its MPs, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, in 2009, amid accusations that they were involved in the 1984 riots.
Praising Rahul for speaking out the truth without fear, Singhvi said, “Rahul is quite unlike a number of persons in our political system, who aspire for a big office but are habituated to speaking with a forked tongue, who are self-centered and have illusions of infallibility.” He also appreciated Rahul’s honesty, passion, sincerity and determination to change the corrupt system. Without worrying what his political opponents would say, Rahul bravely put his words with firmness and resoluteness unlike Modi. There was no comparison between the BJP and Congress – they are far apart, says Singhvi. Singhvi’s comments came a day after Rahul’s interaction with the English news channel – an event that sparked furor in the political spectrum with senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley claimed Rahul was “ill informed” about Gujarat riots.
By Anamika Kapoor