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Salman Khurshid justifies calling Narendra Modi aACAyimpotent'.

New Delhi: India's foreign minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday justified calling the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi "impotent".

Khurshid created a stir when he called Modi, the incumbent Gujarat chief minister, impotent for his failure to prevent the 2002 Gujarat riots, insisting that while he meant incompetent, he found it too soft a word to use in this case. The minister was addressing a rally at his Lok Sabha constituency Farrukhabad of Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

"What does the word impotent mean? I am not questioning his sexuality or prowess. The word impotent is used in Hindi and English all the time and I have borrowed it from your channel. When someone can't do something then he is called impotent," Khurshid told a private TV channel while justifying his comment.

Khurshid is the second senior Congress party leader to call Modi names. Earlier, Mani Shankar Aiyar made a mockery of Modi's background as a tea seller early in his life, stating that Modi can never become the prime minister but he could sell tea at the Congress party's conclave held in New Delhi last month.

While the Congress party disowned Aiyar's comment, it gave the BJP the idea to set up Modi tea stalls across the country to offer free tea to voters and interact with them at the community level.

"Some people came, attacked and went and you could not protect. Are you not a strong man ... We don't accuse you of killing people. Our accusation is that you are impotent. You could not stop the killers," Khurshid said, adding if Modi was not impotent then he did it willingly. "It is very simple. I am giving you a choice. Tick the box. You either did it knowingly or you lack in capacity," Khurshid explained.

Khurshid's diatribe has not gone down well with the BJP, which demanded apology from the minister.

"It is utterly irresponsible, shameful and condemnable coming as it does form the foreign minister of India. If the Oxford-educated Salman Khurshid does not understand the distinction between incompetent and impotent, then what should I say? Khurshid must apologise," said senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.

BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar lambasted Khurshid for his unprovoked utterance.

"The whole world is criticising him (Khurshid) but he is unrepentant. Let Salman Khurshid remember that abuses always boomerang," Javadekar said.

Besides Aiyar and Khurshid targeting Modi, Federal Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde was in the news recently for threatening to crush electronic media, though he said afterwards that he meant social media.

Political observers feel the behaviour that some senior Congress party leaders have been displaying shows their growing frustration, with the next general elections just round the corner.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Feb 27, 2014
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