Union Minister Salman Khurshid, who stoked a controversy by calling Narendra Modi "impotent", on Wednesday insisted that he did nothing wrong as there was no other appropriate word to describe him in the context of the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Slamming Modi for his handling of the riots, Khurshid said he did not find any other word to expressed his anguish better and asked the Bharatiya Janata party’s prime ministerial candidate to admit the "truth" about the riots.
"I am not his doctor. I cannot physically examine him. So I have no business to be saying what his physical condition is. The word impotent is used in political vocabulary to show that somebody is incapable of doing something," he said.
The Union minister said the Gujarat chief minister must admit the "truth" and clarify either he was behind the riots or were not in a position to stop them.
"Either you admit you are strong and fully capable and what had happened was done deliberately or say that I made lot of efforts but did not have the capability (to stop the riots). If there is no capability (to deal with) what is it called. Is it not called impotency. If it is called impotency and I said that then what's the problem," he said.
Rebutting the BJP's criticism for his comments, Khurshid if they do not understand the vocabulary then he can send a dictionary to them.
"If you can suggest any other word then I will use that," he said. The BJP slammed Khurshid for his use of the word to describe Modi and asked him to apologise for the "regrettable" and "shameful" comment. BJP leaders said Congress and its leaders have "forgotten manners and etiquettes" and asked if party president Sonia Gandhi approved of this comment.
Khurshid had on Tuesday described Modi as "impotent" while addressing a rally in Farrukhabad from where he is likely to seek re-election in Lok Sabha polls. Khurshid had once compared Modi to the proverbial frog just out of the well.
Without taking the name of Modi, Khurshid asked why a man who aspires to be the prime minister of the country could not do anything during the 2002 riots.
Image: Union Minister Salman Khurshid at a press conference. Photograph: Zoubeir Souiss/Reuters