With Action On Mani Shankar Aiyar, Congress Walks Rahul Gandhi's Talk

Aiyar faces retort from PM, rebuke from Rahul for 'neech aadmi' remark

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday triggered a major storm calling Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi" (base), which the Prime Minister gave a caste angle, telling an election rally in Gujarat that describing him as "neech jaati" (low born) was an insult to Gujaratis who will vote out the Congress in the assembly elections.

Aiyar, while talking to, said it was the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who turned Dr Ambedkar's wish into reality and it was not correct to badmouth the Nehru-Gandhi family. "BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party". "They can call me neech jaati".

This was not the first time Aiyar's has sparked a controversy by using derogatory language against PM Modi. "What Aiyar said is an insult to all the poor and downtrodden citizens of Gujarat and of this country", Prasad said.

Aiyar stoked a controversy by calling Modi a "bahut neech kisam ka aadmi" who is practising "dirty politics". Modi and his party, the BJP had used the remarks to their advantage while reminding people that he was being targetted for having a humble background.

Although Aiyar clarified that he never meant "low born" when he said "Neech Aadmi" and that he was not aware about the nuances and different interpretations of the word "neech", the Congress did not take this "gaffe" lightly.

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"This is Congress party's Gandhiwaad and sense of respect towards its rivals". So if it has some other meaning or it means "low-born" only, then I apologise for the wrong translation. "Both the Congress and I expect him to apologize for what he said", Gandhi said.

"This (the remarks) is the feudal arrogance of the Congress, as they could not digest the fact that the son of a poor tea seller has become the prime minister". "Please do not respond to the remark even on Twitter", he said.

In trying to defend his party against the "dynast" tag, Aiyar had said, "When Shah Jahan came in the place of Jahangir did any election happen?" I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mani Shankar Aiyar to address the Prime Minister.

In 1998, Aiyar had called then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee nalayak, a comment for which he later apologised in similar fashion, saying he did not quite understand the import of Hindi words.

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