NEW DELHI: BJP president Amit Shah has slammed the Congress over its leader Sam Pitroda's "so what" remarks on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, saying they have "exposed" its mindset and asserted it is under the Narendra Modi government that culprits were punished and families of victims compensated.
"Thousands of Sikhs were killed mercilessly. The then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi justified it. No one was punished. Manmohan Singh was made (by the Congress) to apologise. What Sam Pitroda has said exposes the Congress' mindset," he told PTI.
On Thursday, Pitroda, had dismissed questions about 1984 riots, saying "hua to hua" (so what), triggering a political furore that led to Congress president Rahul Gandhi denouncing his comments followed by an apology from him on Friday.
Shah spoke to PTI before Pitroda tendered the apology.
The BJP president said several Congress governments at the Centre did little to go after those behind the communal violence and added that they were punished by the Modi government.
The riots, which had left thousands of Sikhs dead, remain an emotive issue, especially in Delhi, which was the worst affected city, and Punjab, where the community live in very large numbers.
The BJP has sought to corner the Congress over the carnage, as both Delhi and Punjab head for the Lok Sabha polls. Elections in the national capital will take place on Sunday and in Punjab on May 19.
To a question about the BJP's controversial decision to field Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur from Bhopal, Shah strongly defended the decision.
He said she may be still an accused but the conspiracy she has been charged with has already been rejected by courts in other cases of terror in which right wing Hindutva elements were blamed.
Accusing the Congress of manufacturing "fake Hindu terror" cases to defame Hindus for its "vote bank" politics, Shah said courts have already rejected the theory and the BJP's decision to field Thakur was the saffron party's "satyagrah" against the opposition party.
Thakur has been pitted against veteran Congress leader Digvijay Singh.
Targeting the Congress, Shah said people - allegedly linked to terrorist outfit LeT- arrested in Samjhauta train blast case were released by the UPA government and compensated as well, after investigators later claimed that Hindutva elements were behind the terror.
A court, however, acquitted all accused, including Hindutva activist Swami Aseemanand.
Shah expressed confidence that the BJP will win more than 282 seats it had won in 2014, saying its number of seats and victory margins will increase with the party set to do well in regions where it had been traditionally weak.