BJP rakes up Sharif calling PM names
As Manmohan Singh met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on Sunday, controversy erupted just a few hours before their meeting. A report, still unsubstantiated, that the Pak PM Nawaz Sharif had purportedly called Singh a ‘dehati aurat’ (village woman) during a breakfast meet with journalists in the US, was raised vociferously by BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi at the political rally in the national capital on Sunday. ‘How dare you (Sharif) address my nation’s PM as a village woman? There cannot be a bigger insult of the Indian Prime Minister,’ claimed Modi. As the crowds roared, Modi added, ‘We will not tolerate any insult to India.’
The controversy has its roots in a comment by Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir on Geo TV that Sharif had used the ‘dehati aurat’ description while meeting him and a prominent Indian TV journalist on Saturday. Sharif was reportedly unhappy that Singh had complained to US president Barack Obama about Pakistan. The Indian news anchor however, said on Twitter, ‘this (Mir’s version) is a distortion entirely’ and that Sharif had said ‘nothing of this kind. She said there were bits in the interaction that were off the record and added those in any case did not include any pejorative word about the PM.
Following the row, Mir also tweeted Sharif had said nothing derogatory about Singh.