As the Congress party observed Rajiv Gandhi's 72nd birth anniversary today, the party’s West Bengal unit committed a huge faux pas while tweeting about the day.
In a tweet remembering the former prime minister, West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee posted Rajiv’s most infamous statement he gave after the assassination of former PM and his mother Indira Gandhi.
“For some days people had thought that India was shaking. But whenever a big tree falls the ground shakes a little,” Rajiv, who was sworn in as PM after his mother’s death, had said while speaking about the deadly anti-Sikh riots in 1984.
The comment was seen as inflammatory at a time when riots had raged in Delhi and Punjab in the aftermath of the assassination.
More than 3,000 people, largely across Delhi and Punjab, were massacred in one of the bloodiest pogroms.
The state unit, however, immediately deleted the controversial tweet and posted another. But screenshots of the tweet started circulating on the social media platform.
Congress leader Manas Bhunia said that the party’s state unite president Adhir Choudhury should take responsibility for the tweet.
Another party leader Priyanka Chaturvedi, however, defended the former prime minister’s remark saying, “The statement was not a justification of the riots. BJP is trying to take political mileage of it.”
Chaturvedi’s reaction came in the wake of BJP leader Nalin Kohli’s remark in which he lambasted the Congress saying that “they are justifying the riots with the tweet that was posted”.
Akali leader S Valtoha also hit out at the party saying, “This is the thinking of the entire Congress party. They have always been against Sikhs and proved by attacking the Golden Temple. We will never forgive and forget them,”
The tweet has embarrassed the Congress party at a time when the party is trying to make resurgence in Punjab where assembly polls are to be held next year.