The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday accused Union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad of making casteist remarks against Narendra Modi by referring to the backward community to which the Gujarat chief minister belongs and demanded an apology from him as well as the Congress.
"Ghulam Nabi Azad not just insulted Modi by calling him Gangu Teli but also insulted the community to which he belongs. This is unfortunate," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
BJP also demanded that Azad take back his words immediately and tender an apology for allegedly insulting all backward castes and especially the members of this particular community.
"Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad has cast a casteist aspersion and used casteist remarks against Modi. We condemn this. Calling somebody a Gangu Teli is an insult not only to OBCs but practically to the whole country. We demand that Azad and Congress apologise for this," said BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, while addressing party spokespersons, also expressed dissatisfaction at the manner in which BJP spokespersons had tackled Congress's charges against Modi after his Independence Day speech.
Jaitley said Azad had used "derogatory" words against Modi which should have been countered strongly but decently.
Hussain said Congress has made a habit of using vituperative language on the social media against the opposition and there is a need to deal with it.
Referring to the 'frog' remark made by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, he said, "The two senior leaders said Congress is lowering the standard of the debate. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has used derogatory language against Modi”.
"The BJP wants to tell Congress President Sonia Gandhi to restrain her ministers and spokespersons. We will answer back to the Congress but not in such indecent language", he said.
Referring to a Hindi proverb to reject any comparison between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Modi, Azad had wondered, "How can any CM give a challenge to the PM? Where is the comparison between Raja Bhoj and Gangu…".