Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressing an election rally in Punjab on Monday. Photo/ANI
Congress president Rahul Gandhi addressing an election rally in Punjab on Monday. Photo/ANI

Rahul terms Pitroda's 'Hua to hua' remark as shameful, says guilty of anti-Sikh riots will be punished

ANI | Updated: May 13, 2019 17:47 IST

Fatehgarh Sahib/Hoshiarpur (Punjab) [India], May 13 (ANI): Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that those guilty of 1984 anti-Sikh riots "should and will be punished," while reiterating that Sam Pitroda's 'Hua to Hua' remark on the tragic event was shameful.
Calling the riots totally wrong and tragic, Rahul said that Pitroda should be ashamed of his remark on the 1984 riots and should publicly apologise for it.
"Whatever he said about 1984 anti-Sikh riots is wrong. He should apologise to the nation for this. He should be ashamed of what he said," Rahul said, while addressing an election rally in Fatehgarh Sahib, which goes to polls on May 19.
Overseas Indian Congress (OIC) chief Pitroda stirred controversy on May 9 when he said: "It (riots) happened in 1984. So what" while referring to the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
Later, the Congress party issued a statement, distancing itself from Pitroda's comments, saying that justice must be given to the victims of both -- 1984 and 2002 riots.
Flanked by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and AICC secretary in charge of Punjab Asha Kumari, Rahul said he had personally called up Pitroda to demand an unequivocal apology, which the people of India wanted and deserved for his controversial remarks.
"Those responsible for the riots should and will be punished," he declared, addressing rallies in support of party candidate Dr Amar Singh from Fatehgarh Sahib, Dr Raj Kumar Chabbewal from Hoshiarpur and Santokh Singh Chaudhary from Jalandhar.
Rahul termed these polls an ideological fight between false promises and realistic commitments. "Prime Minister Modi and his BJP have cheated the people of India with their lies and false propaganda, while the Congress has always remained true to its promises," Rahul said.
"This Chowkidar has been exposed. The people know the truth about him and he can no longer escape for perpetrating theft of their hard-earned money with demonetization and GST, and for diverting Rs 30000 crore to Anil Ambani with the Rafale defence deal," said Rahul.
"People will not forgive Prime Minister Modi for standing a mute spectator when Dalits and minorities were being attacked. Youths were being deprived of jobs and scholarships. Farmers were committing suicide or were being thrown behind bars and the money of the people was being stolen from them," he said.
Pointing to the shocking figures of unemployment, which stood at its worst in 45 years, Rahul said the Congress party's NYAY scheme will not only ensure Rs 72,000 for 5 crore families a year, for the next five years, but will also ensure employment to youth and improved business for shopkeepers as well as small and medium-sized traders by increasing the purchasing power of the people.
"While PM Modi was talking about surgical strikes, the Congress party was preparing to launch the real surgical strikes on poverty. NYAY would completely wipe out poverty from the country. It will act like diesel in a tractor to fire up the Indian economy once again and put the nation back on the path of becoming a global economic power," he said.
Declaring the Congress party's commitment to protecting the interests of farmers, Rahul said that his party had waived off loans, within two days of coming to power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. "The party would not stop here if elected to the Centre but would ensure that farmers get the due price for their crops," he said.
Recalling the allegation of BJP's Shivraj Singh Chauhan that the farm loan waiver was a farce in Madhya Pradesh, Rahul said that the former chief minister's own family members had been benefitted from the waiver under the Congress regime.
"No farmer, of any state, religion or caste, will go to jail for default on loan payment," he said.
Lauding the employment initiatives launched successfully by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Rahul said: "A lot more will be done across the country to revive industry and generate self-employment. Start-ups would not be required to take any government permissions in the first three years of launch."
Expressing happiness over a large number of women party workers at Hoshiarpur rally, Rahul promised 35 per cent reservation for women in government jobs at the national level as well in the state assemblies, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
Chief Minister Singh, in his address, reiterated that his government would ensure the fulfillment of all the promises made by the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections.
Asserting that his government still had three years to go, he assured the people that every single promise would be implemented before the end of his term.
"In just two years, Punjab government has completed farm loan waiver for the majority of 10.25 lakh small and marginal farmers for whom the debt waiver scheme had been launched," he said.
Citing the Congress manifesto, Captain Amarinder also assured the people of early implementation of 'One Rank, One Pension' (OROP) scheme to fulfill the long-pending demand of the ex-soldiers. "It was these defence personnel who had protected the nation's security and safety," he said.
The voting for all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will take place during the last phase of seven-phased General Elections on May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23. (ANI)

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