Rajiv Gandhi was in West Bengal on 31 October 1984 when his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, to avenge the military attack on the Golden Temple during Operation Blue Star. Congress leaders pressed Rajiv to succeed his mother as Prime Minister within hours of her murder. Commenting on the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, Rajiv Gandhi said, “When a giant tree falls, the earth below shakes”; a statement for which he was widely criticized. People say was the statement made by Rajiv a “virtual justification” of the riots? This one statement is considered as blot on the image of Rajiv Gandhi even till today.