The Shiromani Akali Dal on Tuesday termed as "full of hypocrisy" Rahul Gandhi's remarks that the Congress government tried to stop the anti-Sikh riots and accused it of shielding individuals involved in the "carnage" and delaying deployment the army.
"Total hogwash, full of hypocrisy. He says that Narendra Modi was responsible for Gujarat because he was the chief minister. Then what about Rahul Gandhi's father who was the prime minister when in Delhi the massacre of Sikhs was taking place," SAD leader Naresh Gujral said in New Delhi.
He said that in Gujarat there were riots but in Delhi "it was carnage of the Sikhs which was done by the Congress party and the government of the day did not call the army out for three days".
Gujral said his father former prime minister I K Gujral, General (retd) J S Aurora, Air Marshall Arjan Singh and others went repeatedly to the President and home minister.
"Both of them expressed total helplessness because clearly there were orders from the prime minister's house not to call the army. Meanwhile, poor Sikhs were getting massacred by the Congressmen," he said.
He said that in Gujarat there was police firing and Hindus as well as Muslims lost lives. "In Delhi not one shot was fired. So what was he talking about," he asked.
Drawing a contrast with Gujarat riots of 2002, Gujral said that many people including a former Gujarat minister have been jailed for the 2002 riots but those accused of gruesome crimes in 1984 have been protected and even made MPs.
He was reacting Gandhi's remarks that Modi government was responsible for "abetting and pushing" the 2002 Gujarat riots while the Congress government tried to stop the 1984 riots.
In Chandigarh, SAD chief and Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal issued a statement saying, "The cat is finally out of the bag. After 30 years of denial by his party and family, Rahul has finally spoken what the entire world has always known as the truth that the Congress party and the Union government led by his father late Rajiv Gandhi had presided over the execution of the most beastly massacre of innocents in the streets of the national capital in 1984."
"Rahul Gandhi says that he was a child when the 1984 massacre took place. It is significant that even as a child, he (Rahul) was able to observe the involvement of his partymen in this massacre -- so open, unashamed and widespread was the Congress party's involvement," Sukhbir said.
He said he was shocked by Rahul's "stubborn refusal to apologise to the Sikhs and the nation".
The deputy chief minister also asked all Punjab Congressmen to resign en masse after Rahul's "open admission that Congressmen were involved in the massacre of thousands of Sikhs in 1984".
On Rahul's observation that Narendra Modi was responsible for the Gujarat riots because he was the chief minister of the state when the riots happened, Sukhbir said, "Unlike Modi, the Rajiv Gandhi government and the Congress party have not been given a clean chit by the courts."