Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury did it again. The Congress leader, known for his foot-in-mouth statements, on Saturday left his party red-faced as when his purported tweet on the occasion of Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary brought back the horror of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
Despite Chowdhury claiming the tweet had “nothing to do with my own observation” despite having first posted and then deleted the tweet from his official handle, viral screenshots showed Rajiv Gandhi’s photos with a quote by the former prime minister after the assassination of his mother and then PM Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.
After the anti-Sikh riots, in which several Congress names are accused, Rajiv Gandhi said at a public gathering: “Jab bhi koi bada ped girta hai, toh dharti thodi hilti hai (Whenever a big tree falls, the earth shakes).” Till date, the Grand Old Party faces flak over the statement which is seen as “justification” for the riots that killed over 2,000 people in Delhi.
However, this is not the first time the Congress leader has forced the top brass to firefight after his statements.
- After the Narendra Modi government’s decision to abrogate Article 370, Chowdhury kicked up a storm by asking the government if Article 370 and the state of Jammu and Kashmir was an internal matter. As he questioned how matters related to Jammu and Kashmir could be ‘internal’ if they were being monitored by the UN since 1948, a visibly uncomfortable Sonia Gandhi was seen gesturing towards her son and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, questioning Chowdhury’s statement.
- Amid a political war of words over the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Chowdhury labeled PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah migrants. “Hindustan is for everyone, for Hindus and Muslims. I can say that Amit Shah ji, Narendra Modi ji, you are yourself illegal immigrants. Your home is Gujarat, you came over to Delhi. You are yourselves migrants,” the Congress leader had said.
- Chowdhury stirred a row again when he used derogatory remarks against European Parliament members who had visited Jammu and Kashmir to review the situation after the abrogation of Article 370. Calling them “kiraye ke tattu (hired hacks)”, he slammed the government for barring Indian members of parliament from visiting Jammu and Kashmir while facilitating the visit of European delegation.
- Discourse hit a new low when the Congress MP from West Bengal compared PM Modi to ‘gandi naali’ while replying to the Motion of Thanks moved by Pratap Singh Sarangi in 2019. Taking a swipe at the PM, Chowdhury said there was no comparison between Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi. He further added that “Ganga and gandi naali (dirty drain) can’t be compared”, to which members of the ruling party protested and demanded that his words be expunged.
- Chowdhury also did not spare leaders of his own party as he questioned dissident leader Kapil Sibal who was part of the G23 group. Kapil Sibal kahan k neta hain mujhe pata nahi. He got many advancements because of the Congress party. Things were good when he was a minister in the UPA govt now when UPA is not in power he is feeling bad. He should set an example that he can do something without the support of Congress, fight for his ideology on their own, otherwise what is the outcome of just giving interviews while sitting in an AC room,” he said when Sibal questioned the leadership’s decisions.