Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today hit back at Rahul Gandhi for his attack on Narendra Modi over the 2002 Gujarat riots, saying his "irresponsible" comments were condemnable and he should express regret for these.
The party claimed that the Modi government had tried to control the riots in 2002 as "190 rioters" were killed in police firing and in contrast, "not a single bullet was fired" to check the "state-sponsored pogram" in Delhi in 1984.
"The remarks are palpably wrong. We condemn these...It is a textbook case of speaking a lie. The people of the country will reply to this," Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters here.
Prasad was reacting to comments by Gandhi that the Modi government was "abetting and pushing" the rioters during the 2002 violence.
"He (Gandhi) needs to take back his remarks. He must publicly express regret for making a palpably wrong statement," the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said.
Prasad said Gandhi's accusations against Modi, even after the Supreme Court-monitored probe gave a "clean chit" to him and his government, is "unfortunate" and "irresponsible".
Noting that Gandhi virtually considered Congress' Prime Ministerial candidate, the BJP leader asked, "How can he be so utterly irresponsible in making these kind of allegations."
Gandhi has not made a "responsible" comment, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley said, adding the Congress Vice President is "ill-informed" on the Gujarat riots.
Attacking Gandhi, BJP Spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said the 1984 "pogrom was state sponsored" and that the then Rajiv Gandhi government did "nothing" to check rioters as sikhs were being burnt alive.
In Gujarat, he insisted, police took strong action and fired 10,000 rounds of bullets and more than 190 rioters fell to the bullets.
"When Congress has nothing to show they broach the 2002 Gujarat riots. Here also he (Rahul) is factually wrong. Nobody has justified the unfortunate riots in Gujarat.
"On the other hand, his father Rajiv Gandhi justified 1984 riots against sikhs by saying that 'when a big tree falls, there are tremors in the earth'. The scientific truth is when there are tremors, the big tree falls," Javadekar said.
Jaitley said a slogan "Khoon ka Badla Khoon (blood for blood)" started in the afternoon of October 31, 1984 at the AIIMS where Indira Gandhi's body lay and alleged that Congress leaders were seen leading mobs and sikhs were massacred at thousands of places.
"Nowhere did the police fire a single bullet to disperse mobs. Cases were not