NEW DELHI: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Thursday indirectly rapped External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid for calling Narendra Modi ‘impotent’, saying he doesn’t appreciate the use of such language.

Khurshid at a rally on February 26, at his constituency Farukkabad, had said: “Our allegation is not that you (Modi) got people killed, but that you are napunsak (impotent) because you could not stop the killings.” The union minister said this in reference to Modi’s claims to be a strong man, although over a 1,000 people had been killed in the Gujarat riots under his watch in 2002.

Khurshid asked why a man who aspires to be the prime minister of the country could not do anything during the 2002 riots. “Some people came, attacked and went, and you couldn’t protect. Are you not a strong man?,” he asked. “We don’t accuse you of killing people… Hamara aarop hai ki tum ‘napunsak’ (impotent) ho. (Our accusation is that you are impotent).

You couldn’t stop the killers,” he said. Khurshid however refused to apologise saying: “I am not his (Modi) doctor, I didn’t physically examine him. I meant that he lacks strength to do what he could have done.” BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad slammed Khurshid for his remarks saying: “It is utterly irresponsible, shameful and condemnable coming as it does from the foreign minister of India. If the Oxford educated Salman Khusrshid does not understand the distinction between incompetent and impotent then what should I say. Khurshid must apologise.”