Leaders of various political outfits took a dig at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [ Images ] on Monday after the latter was dropped as the keynote speaker at a Wharton Business School event.
Samajwadi Party leader Shahid Siddiqui [ Images ] said the latest development in this regard is a message to Modi that he is not as yet acceptable either nationally or internationally
"Wharton has decided to cancel Narendra Modi's speech and this should be a message to Narendra Modi that he is not as yet acceptable either nationally or internationally. Every time his name will crop up, there will be opposition to him and that is not good for any national or international leader," said Siddiqui.
" If he wants to be a national leader forget about prime minister, then he should rise above his prejudices and he should emerge as a big leader with a big heart and broad mind and a very liberal thinking. He should apologise to the nation for what happened in 2002," he added.
Meanwhile, Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia echoing similar sentiments said Modi should apologise to the world.
"If someone has committed a crime then he can never be forgiven till justice is done. That is why Modi should apologise to the world and human civilisation or should let the law decide. But Modi does not have the guts for both. Therefore, this issue will remain wherever he goes," he said.
Bahujan Samaj Party leader Shafiqur Rahman Barq on his part said Modi has a tarnished image not only in India [ Images ], but also across the world.
"He has a tarnished background and his position is not only bad in India, but also outside India. The incident, which took place during his tenure that led to the killing of Muslims, we cannot forget all this. Let the BJP make all the efforts to back Modi, but the people of India will decide," he said.
Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] leader Prakash Javadekar, however, backed Modi despite all criticisms. "The BJP is proud of its leaders because here there is merit with hard work and with great talent and continuous hardworking people come to national level," said Javadekar.
Modi, who secured an electoral hat-trick in Gujarat in December last year, had been selected by students to address the Wharton India Economic Forum via videoconference.
The Gujarat CM, who is being touted by many as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate in 2014, had to face protests in the national capital last month when he arrived for his first public address at Delhi [ Images ] University's prestigious Shri Ram College of Commerce.