Salman Khurshid calls Narendra Modi ‘impotent’, BJP says Congress frustrated
Farukkhabad, Uttar Pradesh – Union Minister Salman Khurshid has described Narendra Modi as “impotent”, in remarks that have been sharply condemned by the BJP.
Mr Khurshid was speaking at a rally at his Lok Sabha constituency Farukkhabad in Uttar Pradesh, when he made these remarks in connection with Mr Modi’s handling of the 2002 riots in his Gujarat.
“I want to ask him this question that you claim to be such a strong and powerful man and wish to be the PM, and you could not protect the people of Godhra. Some people came, attacked and went, and you couldn’t protect. Are you not a strong man?..Our allegation is not that you get people killed… but that you are napunsak (impotent),” he said without naming the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate.
Mr Modi’s critics say he did not do enough to stop the riots in his state 14 years ago but recently, the Supreme Court said it could find no evidence to prosecute the Chief Minister.
Mr Modi’s close aide and Gujarat Minister Jay Narayan Vyas said the union minister’s “absolutely indecent comment” reflected the “frustration” of Congress leaders ahead of the national election, due by May.
The BJP condemned the remarks and targeted Rahul Gandhi. “Congress is forgetting tehzeeb, tameez (decency, manners). Mr Khurshid has studied abroad, he can’t forget Indian values. Rahul Gandhi should answer. Is this what he advised his party men?” taunted the BJP’s Shahnawaz Hussain.
Earlier this month, the Congress vice president had told his party leaders and spokespersons to keep their political campaign positive and avoid personal comments.
Mr Gandhi had cited a comment by Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who had controversially mocked Mr Modi’s tea-seller past at a party conclave saying, “There is no way he can be Prime Minister in the 21st century… but if he wants to come and distribute tea here we can make some room for him.”