Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has refused to apologise for the 2002 riots in the state.
"One only has to ask for forgiveness if one is guilty of a crime. If you think it's such a big crime, why should the culprit be forgiven?" Just because Modi is a chief minister, why should he be forgiven. I think Modi should get the biggest punishment possible if he is guilty. And the world should know that there isn't any tolerance for such political leaders," he told The Wall Street Journal.
He was asked whether he would apologise for the riots which his critics demand.
Modi parried a question whether he sees himself as a future prime minister, saying he was concentrating on Gujarat. "I can't think beyond that," he said.
The paper said Modi attributed malnutrition problems in his state partly to Gujaratis being largely vegetarian and partly to body, image issues among young women.
"The middle class is more beauty conscious than health conscious- that is a challenge," he said.
"If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they'll have a fight - she'll tell her mother 'I won't drink milk. I'll get fat," Modi added.