While Narendra Modi’s role in the 2002 Gujarat riots may be his biggest obstacle on the way to the Prime Minister’s office, Rahul Gandhi, the Congress Party leader and scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, is coming under fire for his own party’s responsibility in another sectarian riot, in 1984 in Delhi. In a recent interview Gandhi defended his party, Reuters reports:
Nearly 3,000 people were killed in the riots and rights activists accuse the Congress of having turned a blind eye and say some of its leaders helped orchestrate the violence.“It is tragic that so many died but there is no tribute, no remorse, no apology,” said Parkash Singh Badal, the chief minister of Sikh-dominated Punjab state whose party is a member of the main opposition alliance.Gandhi in a rare interview broadcast on Monday night said the riots were horrible and that some members of the Congress party may have been involved. But they had been punished and the government had, at the time, tried to stop the attacks.
Congress’s prospects in this year’s parliamentary elections were already grim after 10 years of what critics say has been a corrupt and inefficient administration. The one weakness party members consistently exploit against Modi and the right-wing BJP is his alleged involvement in the riots in Gujarat that killed close to 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. In the interview, Gandhi struggled to exonerate his party, apparently losing the case for Congress’s moral superiority. It didn’t help that his performance in the interview was pretty weak overall.Things just seem to be getting worse and worse for Gandhi and the Congress Party.