Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday lashed out at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his comment on 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
"Manmohan ji, ordering the Army to tackle any issue is the Prime Minister's prerogative and Rajeev Gandhi was the PM at the time. But truth is that Mr Gandhi supported the massacre in open daylight. He had said that whenever a big tree falls, the earth shakes. These were his words of support," said Mr Jadavekar to counter Dr Singh.
The former prime minister had earlier said that the 1984 riots could have been avoided if Narsimha Rao had listened to IK Gujral's advice. He said, "When the sad event of 1984 took place, Gujral ji that very evening went to the then home minister Narsimha Rao and told him that the situation is so grim that it is necessary for the government to call the Army at the earliest. If that advice was heeded, the massacre that took place in 1984 could perhaps have been avoided".
Upping the ante on Thursday, Mr Javadekar questioned Dr Singh why he went on to become a Finance Minister in a Cabinet headed by Narasimha Rao if he had such adverse feelings about the man. He said the statement by Dr Singh is acceptance that the riots took place because of Congress's fault.
The 1984 riots were a series of organised killings of Sikhs in India following the assassination of then PM Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.