New Delhi: Congress on Monday hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the anti-Sikh riots issue saying like in 2002 post-Godhra violence, he has "forgotten Rajdharma" in 2015 too as he was an "endorser of intolerance by his studied silence" over acts of hate and violence.
Congress also accused the Prime Minister of doing "lasting damage" to country's social fabric by "selective targeting of the minority community".
"The Prime Minister's statement is politically motivated and mischievous and is only aimed at reopening the wounds after 31 years" party's senior spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters after Modi raked up the 1984 anti-Sikh riots issue.
In a stinging counter-attack on Congress for raising the issue of "intolerance", Modi today said at a rally in Bihar that the party should hang its head in shame for the anti-Sikh carnage instead of doing the "drama" of lecturing the NDA government on tolerance.
Sharma accused the Prime Minister of raising the issue of '84 anti-Sikh riots to "divert attention" from rising concerns over the orchestrated campaign to instil fear and to intimidate.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi will be leading a delegation to President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue tomorrow, he said.
Sharma regretted that the Prime Minister has "chosen not to respond" to concerns of people belonging to cross-sections of society who do not belong to any political party. "He should act. As Prime Minister of India, he should not be thinking or acting like a BJP leader or a RSS pracharak. He should fulfil his constitutional and moral duty as India's Prime Minister", Sharma said.
Noting that Modi invokes former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he said that in 2002 he (Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister) had forgotten Vajpayee's message of 'raj dharma' after the communal riots. "Like in 2002, Modi has forgotten raj dharma in 2015," he said alleging that the Prime Minister is an "endorser of intolerance by his studied silence."
"The Prime Minister cannot be given the certificate of excellence on this front...He is all-powerful and not that helpless," Sharma said dismissing as "cosmetic apologies" Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's statement on the issue.
He said Jaitley is a "very good lawyer but is defending a very poor case of Narendra Modi".
The Congress leader said that Indira Gandhi's assassination and the riots that followed it were "definitely tragic and a sad chapter".
At the same time, he said that government after government had worked for relief and rehabilitation of the affected people and provide a healing touch.
Besides, he said that several committees and commissions were set up to bring the guilty to book....