PM Narendra Modi, on Monday, recalled the anti-Sikh riots of 1984, reopening a three-decade-old wound in a stinging counter attack on the Congress, as the fight for Bihar headed towards a bruising finish.
On Thursday in the fifth and final leg of the Bihar elections, Modi said the Congress should “drown in shame” instead of lecturing on tolerance.
“Madam Soniaji… remember what happened on November 2, 1984? Sikhs were massacred in Delhi. Serious allegations were cast on the Congress and its leaders. And on the same November 2 today, the Congress is giving lecture on tolerance. Doob maro
,” Modi told the crowd at Rangabhoomi Maidan in Purnea town, around 325km northeast of Patna.
In Delhi, Congress leaders reacted angrily, saying it was a “mischievous attempt to divert attention” from the increasing examples of intolerance.
Modi’s remarks came as the Congress’ top leadership prepared to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue of alleged growing religious intolerance on Tuesday.
It also came a day after Congress president Sonia Gandhi voiced concern on the issue at a function in the national capital and vowed to fight the “diabolical design” of divisive forces to spread hatred, which posed a threat to the unity of the country.
Attacking the grand coalition leaders, he said at another poll rally in Darbhanga, “When there were blasts in Pune and Mumbai and a dalit police officer was investigating the ‘Darbhanga module’ of terror, its strings touched some leaders closely associated with those in power.”
“While no action was taken against those encouraging and blessing people involved in terrorist activities, the brave policewoman seeking to find the truth was forced to leave Darbhanga and Bihar.
“Do you want such people to rule in Patna who play with the country’s security, those who shelter terrorists and encourage them? Do you want a government of such people? Do you want terrorism to enter this land of Bihar? Do you want Bihar to become a land of bomb blasts?” he asked, while exhorting people to elect a BJP-led NDA government instead.