Congress leader Salman Khurshid's statement that his party had stains of blood on its hands was an "acknowledgement" of its history of "engineering communal riots", said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday. Further, the BJP accused the Congress of continuing to practise the same politics of creating division and tensions to garner votes and said Khurshid's statement, where he is accepting his party's role in past riots, exposes the truth behind party president Rahul Gandhi's 'Save the Constitution' campaign. The Congress distanced itself from Khurshid's remark and said it disagreed with it "in toto". Further, it reminded its leaders that "such unfounded" statements only helped those in power today.
Rahul Gandhi's 'Save the Constitution' is a campaign against and the discrimination of Dalits and dilution of the SC/ST Act. The Congress president also launched a 'Save the Constitution' rally on Monday, in Delhi's Talkatora Stadium, where he said his party would neither allow the BJP and RSS to touch the Constitution nor would the country in 2019.
Calling out to Rahul Gandhi for Congress' history of communal politics, Patra further said, "Rahul Gandhi will have to answer for it, such dual politics will not do."
BJP member Sambit Patra said: "Salman Khurshid has revealed the truth behind Rahul Gandhi’s 'Save the Constitution' campaign. He has admitted that Congress’ hand is stained with blood. It is not only stained with the blood of Muslims but also of Sikhs who were killed in 1984," according to news agency ANI.
Salman Khurshid has revealed the truth behind Rahul Gandhi’s 'Save the Constitution' campaign. He has admitted that Congress’ hand is stained with blood. It is not only stained with the blood of Muslims but also of Sikhs who were killed in 1984: Sambit Patra, BJP in Bengaluru pic.twitter.com/x04e13ufZ5— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2018
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Congress always wore mask of secularism but practised communalism and added that people wanted it to "accept" truth and come clean after Khurshid made his "individual confession".
Citing a number of major riots, including in Bhiwandi, Bhagalpur and Malegaon, which occurred when the Congress was in power, Naqvi told PTI that more than 50,000 such violent incidents had happened under its governments in which thousands of innocent people were killed. He also made a reference to the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
"The Congress is a history-sheeter as far as communal riots are concerned. It has practised politics of divide and rule while using castes and communities to sow division in society. It created social tensions for votes. It continues with this tradition," he said, according to news agency PTI. The Opposition party wore a mask of secularism but its character has always been communal, he alleged.
Acknowledging that communal riots and other sectarian violence did take place during Congress rule, former Union minister Khurshid had said the party's hands are stained with blood. The controversial remarks were made on Sunday at an event at Aligarh Muslim University when a student asked him about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the bloodshed following the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992, both of which occurred during the Congress regime.
Pushed to the wall with a point-blank query from an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student at a programme as to how Congress will wash off the blood stains of Muslims on its hands, he said: "It is a political question. There is blood on our hands. I am also a part of the Congress so let me say it, we have blood on our hands. Is this why you are trying to tell us that if someone attacks you, we must not come forward to protect you?"
The student had asked, "The first amendment was in 1948. Then there was Presidential order in 1950... after that Hasanpura, Maliana, Muzaffarnagar and there is a long list of riots under the Congress regime. Then there was the opening of the gates of Babri Masjid, placing idols inside and then the demolition of Babri Masjid while the Congress was in power at the Centre. Congress has Muslims' blood on its hands. With what words will you wash them off?"
Replying to the student’s question, Salman Khurshid said: “Learn something from our past. Learn from our history and don't create such situations for yourself where if you come back to Aligarh Muslim University after 10 years, you find no one like yourself putting out questions.”
"I am telling you. We are ready to show the blood on our hands so that you realise that you understand that you too must not get blood on your hands. If you attack them, you are the ones who would get stains on your hands," he said at an AMU event on Sunday.
Later, talking to media post his remark, Khurshid said that he was defending the Congress party. He said: "I am not a representative of the Congress party, I am the Congress party. I was defending Congress party. What I said I will continue to say, I made the statement as a human being."
Asked if he would stick to his comment, Khurshid said: "Have you ever known me to withdraw a statement? What I said, I will continue to say. What I didn't say, I will never say.”
The Congress distanced itself from senior party leader Salman Khurshid's remarks that the party had Muslims' blood stains on its hands. Rejecting Khurshid's claims, Congress leader P L Punia said: "Congress disagrees with the statement of Salman Khurshid in toto. Everyone must know that both prior and post independence, Congress is the only party that has worked towards building an egalitarian society by carrying all sections of people together as also religious and ethnic minorities," according to news agency ANI.
Congress disagrees with statement of Salman Khurshid in toto.Everyone must know that both prior&post independence Congress is only party which has worked towards building an egalitarian society by carrying all sections of ppl together as also religiousðnic minorities: PL Punia pic.twitter.com/3TdZNQoIy1— ANI (@ANI) April 24, 2018
The former Union minister was the chief guest at the annual function of B R Ambedkar Hall of the Aligarh Muslim University.
Salman Khurshid had on Monday said that he was not kept in the loop on the impeachment notice against Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, and refrained from commenting on Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu's decision to reject it. Khurshid said he cannot speak for those who signed the notice but the decision to reject it should be challenged.
With Agency inputs