“In 1984, post-Indira Gandhi’s death, when elections happened, the Congress had won more than 400 seats. Five years after Bofors scandal, the Congress was out of power and its seats got halved. It’s a different matter whether people have forgotten Bofors or not but the Congress has forgotten what Bofors had done to it. Since then, the Congress has not got a majority on its own,” BJP leader Balbir Punj said.
CPI’s D Raja said the Congress lost elections that followed Bofors controversy. “The Congress party and Shinde should remember this,” he said.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav told Shinde to avoid “these kinds of political comments” and concentrate on his responsibility as the Union Home Ministry. “He has come to Delhi very recently. His importance is due to the Congress party. He better confines himself to speaking about the Home Ministry. He should speak less on political issues,” Yadav advised his “old friend” Shinde.
The Shiv Sena said Shinde articulated “attitude” of the UPA government. “Shinde has spoken out the attitude of the UPA government,” Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray said in Mumbai.
Addressing a function in Pune on Saturday, Shinde had said in a lighter vein that “earlier the Bofors was a talking point...people forgot about it. Now it is coal. This too will be forgotten”. “Once hands are washed off coal, they again become clean,” he had said.