Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Congress suspends Aiyar from primary membership over 'neech' remark

Congress suspends Aiyar from primary membership over 'neech' remark

The political slugfest between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress Party reached a new low when 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 has called Prime Minister a "neech aadmi" (despicable person) but apologised later when Rahul Gandhi tweeted that the Congress party does not endorse such language and expected Aiyar 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. "Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said", Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet. "I sit with those who are most backward, I work for their uplift, I follow the principles of Mahatma Gandhi". Do I apologise about the word that is translated which says "low born"? He told a rally, "Yamraj, Maut Ka Saudagar, Ravan, Gandi Nali Ka Keeda, Monkey, Rabies Victim, Virus, Bhasmasur, Gangu Teli, Goon". In English there's a clear distinction between "low" and "low born". The prime minister also accused the Congress leadership of having a "Mughal" mindset. "I meant low level when I said "neech", I don't think he is low born.if it has some other meaning then I apologise", he said. "You may call me neech for that, but I will continue on this path", Modi said. Why would he use such a low language for the Congress on such an occasion. "As far as I am concerned the bulk of my remarks dealt with Modi's very, very nasty remarks about the Congress, particularly with Gandhi's relationship with Ambedkar".

While addressing the session along with Pakistan's former foreign affairs minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, the bureaucrat-turned-politician was quoted by ANI saying, "There is a large section in India that believes Muslims were responsible for India's vivisection and therefore draws parallel between Muslims who created Pakistan and the Muslims who remained in India".


"If you are unsure of the language or facts, then you are unfit to be in politics", he said.

Modi was quick to latch on to Aiyar's remarks and had said that the Congress loyalist was proud of his party's 'Aurangzebi Raj (dynastic traditions).

Aiyar claimed that it was the country's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru who recognized Ambedkar's potential.

"But if you have any anger over the use of such words against me, press the button alongside the lotus symbol on 9th and 14th (Gujarat polling dates)", Modi told the gathering.

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