Mani Shankar Aiyar suspended from primary membership of Congress Party

Aiyar's 'neech' remark reeks of feudal arrogance, says BJP

On the other hand, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "neech aadmi" (low-minded person) for appropriating Babasaheb Ambedkar into his election campaign for the imminent assembly polls in Gujarat.

Earlier in the day, Aiyar said, "He (Modi) is "neech kism ka aadmi" (a vile man) who has no "sabhyata" (civility)", attacking Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in B R Ambedkar's name but trying to erase his contribution to building India.

Meanwhile, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter saying, "BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said", Gandhi said.

Aiyar stoked a controversy by calling Modi a "bahut neech kisam ka aadmi" who is practising "dirty politics". The prime minister said Aiyar's comment was an insult to Gujarat.

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Aiyar, reacting to Gandhi's remarks, said: "Why was PM taking a jibe at Congress and Rahul Gandhi at inauguration of a Centre on Baba Saheb Ambedkar?"

Aiyar said his statement was lost in translation as he never meant to say that the PM was a low born.

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"They can call me "Neech"- Yes, I am from the poor section of society and will spend every moment of my life to work for the poor, Dalits, Tribals and OBC communities". I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar to address the PM.

Another senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad reportedly said, "Mani Shankar Aiyar has called our PM "neech" but we are proud of our Prime Minister, he has answered very politely and sensibly".

"I never meant "low born".

While appealing to the people to vote for BJP, the PM said, "Nothing can stop me from giving back to the poor what belongs to them". In English there's a clear distinction between "low" and "low born". Everyday the Prime Minister is using foul language against our leaders.

The Congress, too, strongly disapproved of Aiyar's remarks, with Rahul Gandhi saying he and the party expected the leader to tender an apology.

"It is the feudal, arrogant thinking that only they (Congress) can rule India and no one else", the Union minister said.

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