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Rahul Gandhi for action against those involved in 1984 riots

Press Trust of India  |  Khanna /Hoshiarpur (Pb) 

Facing a mounting attack from the BJP, Monday said those involved in the 1984 should be punished, even as he again rebuked his Sam Pitroda, saying he should be "ashamed" of his remarks on the tragic event.

Addressing a poll rally in Hoshiarpur, Gandhi said that what happened in 1984 was very wrong.

"Pain, which is there in people's hearts, you (Pitroda) should respect that, and those who committed wrongs in 1984 (riots), there should be action against them and action will be taken."

Earlier, at his rally at Khanna, which was his first rally in Punjab, he also said that his party's should apologise to the country for his "totally" wrong remarks.

The president's remarks came in an apparent damage control exercise after an uproar over Pitroda's "hua to hua" response to a query on the riots.

The had earlier tweeted his disapproval and the party had distanced himself from Pitroda's remarks.

"What said about 1984 was totally wrong and he should seek an apology from the country.

"I am saying this publicly and I also told the same to him over phone. Pitroda ji, what you had said was completely wrong and you should be ashamed of yourself. You should seek a public apology," Gandhi said towards the end of his speech here.

The BJP stepped up offensive against the Congress over Pitroda's remarks as the 1984 riots is an emotive issue in which is going to poll on May 19.

Gandhi termed the Lok Sabha polls an ideological fight between "false promises and realistic commitments".

While Modi and the BJP had cheated the people of with their "lies and false propaganda", the Congress always remained true to its promises, he claimed.

"This chowkidar has been exposed, the people know the truth about him and he can no longer escape for perpetrating the theft of their hard-earned money with demonetisation and GST, and for diverting Rs 30,000 crore to a with the Rafale defence deal," Gandhi alleged.

He claimed that the people would not forgive Modi for standing as a "mute spectator" when Dalits and minorities were being attacked, youths were being "deprived" of jobs and scholarships, and when farmers were "committing suicide" or were being thrown behind bars, Gandhi said.

The looted the common people, through "ill-conceived" demonetisation and 'Gabbar Singh Tax' and gave their hard-earned money to a few businessmen, he said, adding that Modi was now "scared" of even debating with him on issues of corruption and Rafale as he had no answers.

Gandhi accused Modi of not raising the issue of unemployment. "The youths are angry, so are traders, middle and small-business owners and farmers, but he did not want to touch these issues," he said.

"Look at Modi's face, he has accepted defeat. He will talk about radar (referring to Modi's reported comments on cloud cover) and eating mangoes, but he is not talking about real issues," he said.

Gandhi also talked about the Nyay scheme, the Congress's poverty alleviation scheme, and giving 33 per cent reservation to women in state assemblies, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 22:11 IST