Mani Shankar Aiyar apologizes for 'neech aadmi' remark against Modi

Mani Shankar Aiyar apologizes for 'neech aadmi' remark against Modi

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday defended his description of Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "neech" or low-life by emphasising that Hindi was not his mother tongue. Then PM candidate Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders went to town using Aiyar's comments to portray Congress as an elitist party that does not care about the poor.

The prime minister, while inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre, had earlier on Thursday hit out at the Congress, saying parties seeking votes in the name of the architect of the Indian Constitution's name tried to erase his contribution to nation building.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said Aiyar's comments do not fall in line with the culture and heritage of the party.

Within minutes, Aiyar said he was responding to the "foul language" being used by the PM daily against Congress leaders. "Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said", Rahul Gandhi tweeted. He said the word "neech" was a direct translation of the word "low".

Jaitley later told reporters that this is part of a strategy of the Congress to belittle the Prime Minister every day and then say they will "retract".

"Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in a democracy". Aiyar said the comments by the PM showed his low-level mindset and one bereft of any manners. "This is insulting and is nothing but Mughlai mindset", PM Modi said.

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Modi blamed it on Aiyar's "Mughal mentality" at a rally in Surat and warned that the remarks would have consequences in the elections. We wish them well.

As these sections of the society were progressing now, the opposition partys hatred against them had come out in the form of abusive language, he said.

The BJP stood for decency, good values and development, and it would continue to serve the 125 crore people of India, he added.

Aiyar stoked a controversy by calling Modi a "bahut neech kisam ka aadmi" who is practising "dirty politics". He said the injustice with Ambedkar was done when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru enjoyed full influence over the Congress Party.

Moments after Rahul Gandhi's tweet, Mani Shankar Aiyar sought to clarify his statement and said he was just replying to PM Modi in his language.

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