Congress suspends Mani Shankar Aiyar over 'neech' jibe against Modi

Congress suspends Mani Shankar Aiyar over 'neech' jibe against Modi

Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday kicked up a row when he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "neech" (vile man), drawing a sharp reaction from the latter who dubbed it as an "insult" to Gujarat and a reflection of "Mughal mentality".

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"BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party".

The Congress strongly disapproved of Aiyar's remarks, with party Vice President Rahul Gandhi saying he and the party expected the leader to tender an apology. Congress has a different culture and heritage. So if it has some other meaning or it means "low-born" only, then I apologise for the wrong translation.

"The Congress has served a showcause notice to Mani Shankar Aiyar and suspended him from the primary membership of the party", Surjewala said.

Aiyar called Modi a "neech aadmi" after the PM accused Congress of using the name of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar to seek votes without acknowledging his contribution towards nation building. In English there's a clear distinction between "low" and "low born". There is a difference in English language between words "low" and "low-born'". So I used "low person", I translated "low" in my mind. Whatever I say they want to misinterpret.

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Attacking the prime minister over his remarks during the inauguration of the Ambedkar International Centre in New Delhi this morning, Surjewala said that under the BJP-led government at the Centre, atrocities on Dalits have risen sharply.

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". "The strength of India's democracy will be displayed when a person of humble background politically defeats the dynasty and its representatives", he said in tweets.

This is not the first time Aiyar has made a derogatory remark about the prime minister.

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

"If you are unsure of the language or facts, then you are unfit to be in politics", he said. Prasad said the comment reflects the "feudalistic and arrogant thinking" of the Congress party.

To this end, Aiyar said he had never called the prime minister a "Chaiwala", adding, "You can go on the internet and check all the videos".

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