Self goal? Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s now-deleted tweet on Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary sparks ‘1984’ debate

Calling it a “malicious campaign” against him, Chowdhury, in his defence, wrote on his social media handle, “The tweet against my name in account has nothing to do with my own observation…a malicious campaign is propagated by those forces inimical to me.”

Adhir Chowdhury says that his account was hacked.

Senior Congress leader and MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury landed in a soup on Saturday after an alleged tweet from his profile, with a reference to the 1984 anti-Sikh riots on Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary, shocked everyone.

Hours after the tweet was deleted, screenshots of the tweet attributed to Chowdhury’s verified social media handle went viral. The tweet showed the picture of the former Prime Minister with an accompanying quote that said, “When a big tree falls, the ground shakes.” This quote was famously attributed to Rajiv Gandhi, often seen as a justification for the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi that took more than 2,000 lives, after the assassination of Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.

Calling it a “malicious campaign” against him, Chowdhury, in his defence, wrote on his social media handle, “The tweet against my name in account has nothing to do with my own observation…a malicious campaign is propagated by those forces inimical to me.”

With the quote bringing back painful memories of the anti-Sikh riots, BJP and other Opposition parties hit out at the Congress. BJP leader and national convener of the BJP IT cell, Amit Malviya tweeted saying that Chowdhury “has decided to call spade a spade”.

Lashing out at the Congress over its “self-goals”, National Conference leader and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that the Grand Old Party doesn’t need forces from outside to pull itself down. “What on earth did he think using this quote was going to do for his party or the memory of the leader he was paying tribute to?”, asked Abdullah on his social media handle.

This is not the first time that Chowdhury has been in the eye of the storm over his controversial statements. After Article 370 was revoked in the Valley in 2019, Chowdhury’s statement asking if Kashmir was actually India’s internal matter as the UN has been monitoring the situation since 1948 left Sonia Gandhi visibly red-faced in the parliament. Amid the National Register of Citizens (NRC) controversy, Chowdhury had called PM Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah as “illegal migrants” as they came to Delhi from Gujarat themselves.

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