New Delhi/Kolkata, Aug 20 (IANS) The West Bengal Congress on Saturday faced embarrassment when it tweeted a controversial remark made by late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.
On Rajiv Gandhi’s 72nd birth anniversary, the West Bengal Congress tweeted: “When a big tree falls, the ground shakes”, referring to his remark during the riots that followed the assassination of his mother and then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1984.
The party subsequently deleted the tweet, claiming the Twitter handle was “hacked”.
But not before many expressed their reservations.
“We all remember Rajiv Gandhi ji beloved former PM of India. But West Bengal Congress shouldn’t have posted this one,” tweeted Minister of State for Home Affairs and BJP MP Kiren Rijiju, posting a screen shot of the now-deleted tweet.
State Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury claimed the Twitter handle was hacked as part of a conspiracy.
“I enquired about the tweet and was told that the account was hacked. In today’s world hacking has become a usual thing. But I think, this has been done in pursuance of a conspiracy to malign the Congress on Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary,” said Chowdhury adding that the party was seeking police action.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and senior advocate H.S. Phoolka, who is representing the 1984 anti-Sikh riots’ victims, has consistently alleged the involvement of Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler in instigating mobs and accused the Congress of shielding them.
AAP’s most prominent figure in the Punjab legislative election Phoolka tweeted: “A PM who justifies killing thousands of innocent citizens does not deserve Bharat Ratna. Withdraw Bharat Ratna of Rajiv Gandhi. Government should act.”
Phoolka is likely to contest from Dakha constituency in Ludhiana district in the elections expected to be held early next year.
Another AAP leader Kumar Vishwas tweeted: “So Congress is glorifying Rajiv Gandhi’s shameless statement on inhuman Sikh genocide! So proud of own absurdity?”
Later, the West Bengal unit shared another post with Rajiv Gandhi’s quote — India is an old country but a young nation. I am young and I too have a dream, I dream of India strong, independent, self-reliant and in the front rank of the nations of the world, in the service of mankind.”