New Delhi: A day after Rahul Gandhi shared an emotional account of his grandmother Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards, a senior Akali Dal leader has struck back with a controversial rebuttal.
"What was Mrs Gandhi doing at that time when she was killing other people's sons and husbands? What was she thinking? ... a place of worship which is worshipped by every Sikh...she goes, gives orders to demolish that place and kill people there. What did she think? She would get away with it scot- free?" asked Harsimrat Kaur Badal, referring to Mrs Gandhi's controversial decision to order the army to enter the Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out militants holed up in the Sikhs' most revered place of worship.
Harsimrat Kaur is an MP from the Akali Dal, which rules Punjab with the BJP. Her father-in-law Parkash Singh Badal is Chief Minister of Punjab and her husband, the deputy chief minister.
"I wish he had gone a little deeper to figure out the reasons as to why his family members met with the fate that they did," said Harsimrat Kaur. "You paid (the) price for your deeds," she charged.
On Wednesday, at a rally in Rajasthan, Mr Gandhi said the communalism and the politics of hatred, which he attributed to the BJP, had cost his family heavily. "Hatred killed my grandmother, my father, maybe it'll kill me. I don't care," he said. Mr Gandhi also re-offered the memory of being taught badminton by the bodyguards who would assassinate Mrs Gandhi.
Nearly 3000 Sikhs were killed in the riots that followed Mrs Gandhi's assassination . Senior Congress leaders like Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar who are being tried for allegedly inciting mobs to attack Sikhs have not been penalized by the party.