Congress suspends Aiyar over 'neech' jibe against Modi

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.

"He [Mr. Modi] is a neech kism ka aadmi who has no sabhyata [civility]", Mr. Aiyar said after Mr. Modi accused the Congress of seeking votes in the name of B.R. Ambedkar but trying to erase his contribution to building India.

"BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack Congress party". Earlier in the day, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had admonished Aiyar, who has often courted controversy with his off-the-cuff comments, prompting the senior leader to apologise.

Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday set off a political firestorm when he called PM Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi", a remark the latter claimed was a casteist slur against him. "This is a Mughal mentality where if such a person (who comes from a humble background) wears good clothes in a village, they have a problem", Modi said. "But in Hindi if low means low-born, then I tender apology", he told reporters. He asked whether PM Modi would dare to act similarly. In one of his first tweets, the PM said: "I have nothing to say on a "wise" Congress leader calling me "Neech".

The Prime Minister made the remark while inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi that was conceived 23 years ago.

"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 never called Modi a low born". I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mani Shankar Aiyar to address the Prime Minister. There is a difference in English language between words "low" and "low-born".

He had, in January 2014, before the Modi-wave took the nation by surprise, said "Modi would never become prime minister, but he was welcome to serve tea to Congressmen".

He expressed confidence in the Gujarat electorate of not accepting deplorable language of the Congress leaders and vote for the BJP.

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