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Modi's "dagger" comment pierces Congress' "heart"

India Blooms News Service | 31 Oct 2014, 11:19 pm
New Delhi, Oct 31 (IBNS): A war of words between BJP and Congress ensued on Friday following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's comments on anti-Sikh riot and absence of any central Government's leaders at former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's memorial to pay tribute to her, media reports said.
According to  reports, the row sparked off after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday called the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 as a “dagger pierced through India's chest”.
Speaking at the "Run for Unity" to mark Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel's birth anniversary, Modi took a dig at Congress and said, "Our own people were murdered, the attack was not on a particular community but on the entire nation. It was like a dagger pierced through India's chest."
Following the aftermath of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination by her own Sikh bodyguards at her residence in Delhi, an anti-sikh riot broke out in which over three thousand people, mostly belonging to Sikh community were killed. 
Indira’s assassination took place in an apparent revenge  to her decision to sanction "Operation Bluestar", by storming of the Golden Temple of Amritsar to flush out Sikh militants, mainly belonging to Sikh radical Babbar Khalsa group, who were said to be hiding there. 
Allegations are that, the anti-Sikh riot was led by Congress leaders Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar. Opposition had time and again accused the Congress and UPA of trying to protect these leaders.
Incidentally, Friday was also the 30th death anniversary of Indira Gandhi. It has been learnt that Congress took serious exception of Modi’s comments and termed them as an “insult”. Furthermore, neither the Prime Minister nor anyone from the Central Government arrived at Indira Gandhi's memorial ‘Shakti Sthal’ to pay tribute.
Modi though, tweeted his tribute in the morning, saying, "I join my fellow countrymen & women in remembering former PM Smt. Indira Gandhi on her Punya Tithi (death anniversary)." 
"It is unfortunate that on the birth anniversary of the man who dedicated his life in uniting the country, a tragic incident took place 30 years ago that shook the country and left it deeply scarred," Modi added.
It has been learnt that absence of Modi and other leaders of NDA Government to pay respects to Indira Gandhi and PM’s speech left Congress fuming. Party leaders said it is the first time that Indira Gandhi's death anniversary was marked without any state patronage. 
President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice President Hamid Ansari were the only dignitaries to join the homage for Indira Gandhi, besides Congress leaders including Sonia and Rahul Gandhi.
According to media reports, after Centre’s snub, a war-of-words followed between the Congress and BJP. Congress accused the latter of being partisan and disrespectful. 
"It is petty-minded, it is partisan and disrespectful to those who gave their lives to their country, particularly Indira Gandhi who gave hers for the unity of this country," Deputy Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma is quoted by media as saying. 
Congress leader Manish Tewari said it is the responsibility of every government to honour Indira Gandhi's sacrifice and if any dispensation did not do it, then it was detracting from its duty.
BJP on the other hand accused Congress of politicising the issue. 
Media quoted BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli saying, "Congress is trying consistently to politicise such issues.” “Do they prefer to see everything in history through the perspective of Nehru-Gandhi family?" he questioned. 
Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu also reportedly said that there was no question of belittling the importance of any leader. 
"There is no question of belittling the importance of any leader...Every leader has their place in history. There is no question of denying that.” 
But at the same time media quoted him as saying that “Sardar Patel is one of the top most leaders who was a freedom fighter, unifier of India...who should be role model for all.”

Modi's "dagger" comment pierces Congress' "heart"

India Blooms News Service
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