Reacting to Finance Minister P Chidambaram's 'Encounter Chief Minister' jibe at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, BJP leader Smiti Irani on Friday said the former does not have the courage to contest the Lok Sabha elections as he knows that he is answerable to the people.
"If Chidambaram had the courage to go to the people and ask for their support, then he would have been contesting the elections," said Irani.
"He knows that he do not possess the courage to contest elections because he was the Finance Minister of the most corrupt government in the history of India. If he goes to the people then he is answerable to the people. So this is the reason he is not contesting elections this time," she added.
On Thursday Chidambaram criticized Modi, who referred to him as 'recounting minister' in his speeches, and said that he is an 'Encounter Chief Minister'.
"If he is calling me that (recounting minister), then I can call him an 'Encounter Chief Minister', Chidambaram had said.
"Modi is a compulsive liar. He is been told that there was no recount in that constituency. The election tradition demands a recount. Yet he continues to make this false statement. This is one among many false statements he has made," Chidambaram added.
Modi in past have referred Chidambaram as 'recounting minister' in his rallies while raking up the issue of counting of votes during 2009 Lok Sabha polls. Chidambaram, who fought from from Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu, had defeated his closest rival by just 3500 votes.