Amit Shah was speaking in the Lok Sabha on last month's Delhi violence
Home Minister Amit Shah, replying to a discussion in parliament on last month's violence in Delhi, hit back at the Congress saying it had no right to point fingers at any party, given its track record.
"76 per cent people who have died in riots in India were killed during Congress rule. It has no moral right to question us," Amit Shah said in the Lok Sabha, where the Congress and other opposition parties demanded his resignation over the handling of the four-day violence in northeast Delhi.
Over 50 people were killed in the rioting that began with a clash between groups for and against the citizenship law CAA.
Mr Shah tackled opposition criticism that the Delhi Police, which reports to the union home ministry, did not act in time to check the violence and prevent the scale of killings.
"People say the home minister didn't appeal for peace. I did, but if had not done that… I didn't say the earth shakes when a big tree falls," Mr Shah said, referring to the infamous comment by Rajiv Gandhi on the anti-Sikh riots in 1984 following the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.
"3,000 Sikh brothers, sisters were burnt alive, and you say earth shakes when a big tree falls?" the Home Minister said.
The Congress staged a walkout in the middle of Mr Shah's reply without coordinating with other opposition parties and making a forceful point of why it was walking out
Earlier in the discussion, BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi had said 871 riots took place under various Congress prime ministers — 243 under Jawaharlal Nehru, 337 under Indira Gandhi and 291 under Rajiv Gandhi.
Though the Congress had continued to raise the 2002 Gujarat riots, the state had not witnessed a single riot since then, she said. "The Delhi violence was brought under control within 36 hours, which, if you look at, was in the making for months," the MP from Delhi said.
The Congress said it was the belated response of the government that caused the violence to spiral out of control.
Calling the central government "nikammi sarkar" (incompetent government), Congress's leader of the House, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, questioned: "If National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's visit can help in controlling the situation why couldn't the Home Minister visit the riot-hit areas?"