Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi’s close aide and confidante Sam Pitroda had stirred a hornet’s nest with his controversial remarks about the Balakot airstrikes conducted by India deep inside Pakistan territory. Pitroda had said that such attacks have happened before as well, as the Mumbai terror attack, and that the Balakot airstrikes were not the right response. He had also asked for proof of the government’s assertions of how many terrorists were killed in the airstrikes considering the foreign media has raised questions. Now, he has made matters worse with his so-called ‘clarification’ on his statement by calling it a ‘trivial matter’.
Sam Pitroda,Indian Overseas Congress Chief on his interview: I don’t understand what is the controversy here, I am baffled at the response.Shows how people react to trivial matters in India. It is a totally trivial matter. A citizen is just asking a question. pic.twitter.com/NNdRHeZ0Go
— ANI (@ANI) March 22, 2019
Sam Pitroda, the Indian Overseas Congress Chief said that he doesn’t understand the controversy here and that he is baffled by the response to his statement. He said it “shows how people react to trivial matters in India”.
He also said that he is asking these questions as a citizen of India and that “he has a right to know what happened”.
Sam Pitroda,Indian Overseas Congress Chief on his earlier remark on #airstrike: I just said as a citizen I am entitled to know what happened. I am not talking on behalf of party, just speaking as a citizen. I have right to know, what is wrong in it? pic.twitter.com/HVb3HJBfop
— ANI (@ANI) March 22, 2019
Congress too has said that the statements by Sam Pitroda are his personal views and doesn’t reflect the views of the party on the whole.
Sam Pitroda’s remarks also show his utter disdain for Indians on the whole, apart from trivialising the Pulwama terror attack and calling India’s Balakot airstrikes as an incorrect response. In his statement, Pitroda says that the reaction to his statement shows how “Indians react to trivial issues” thereby mocking Indians and their sentiments attached to the martyrs of Pulwama attack and their demand for retribution from Pakistan.
While this “clarification” by Sam Pitroda is no clarification at all and rather, a reinforcement of his earlier statement, Congress too cannot distance itself from the statements by merely stating that these are Pitroda’s personal views. Several Congress functionaries have made similar statements that insult the martyrs of the Pulwama terrorist attack and deride India’s response to the terror strike.
Congress leader B K Hariprasad, a Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka, had stirred a controversy by mocking the Pulwama terrorist attack which claimed the lives more than 40 CRPF personnel. Hariprasad called the terrorist attack a ‘fixed-match’ between PM Modi and Pakistan.
Goa Congress leader Chellakumar had alleged that the Pulwama attack was orchestrated by PM Modi and went on to ask where were the bodies of terrorists who were killed in the airstrikes and Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had mocked the martyrs by calling the Pulwama terrorists as “so-called homegrown terrorists”.
In fact, after the dastardly attacks, Rahul Gandhi had himself shown the utmost respect for Pakistan and its terrorists by referring to terrorist Masood Azhar as “Masood Azhar ji”.
The Congress’ party’s official stand seems no different from Pakistan’s and Sam Pitroda’s statements, who is a close confidant of Rahul Gandhi. Congress cannot brush over it by saying that these were his personal views and does not reflect the views of the party.