'Neech' remark row: Congress suspends Mani Shankar Aiyar

Mani Shankar Aiyar must apologize Rahul Gandhi on'neech remark row

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi

Retaliating at senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar's "neech" jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP on Thursday said the Congress leaders remark reeked of feudal arrogance and "darbari soch" (sycophancy) that is inherent in the Congress party.

Disapproving Aiyar's comment, Rahul tweeted: "BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party".

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. The Congress has a different culture and heritage.

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Congress today suspended Mani Shankar Aiyar after he called PM Modi "Neech insaan". "What Aiyar said is an insult to all the poor and downtrodden citizens of Gujarat and of this country", Prasad said.

Amid the development, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked Mr. Aiyar to apologise to Mr. Modi. Blaming that Hindi is not his official language, the Congress leader said he wished to convey Modi's language as low-standard and not refer to him as "low-born".

"They can call me "neech jaati".

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In a quick damage control exercise, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi deprecated Aiyar's language against the Prime Minister and asked him to apologize which the former Union Minister did, claiming his knowledge of Hindi was not good. While PM Modi construed Aiyar's remark as a casteist slur, the Congress too disassociated itself from the seemingly personal attack against the PM. "They can keep their language, we will do our work", Modi told an election rally here. "This is an insult to Gujarat". "You have seen me as chief minister for 14 years and then as prime minister". He further said, Congress will get the answer for making such a remark against "the son of Gujarat" in the upcoming polls.

Wading into the controversy, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Aiyar's "neech" remark displayed a mindset that only one elite family can be a ruler and the rest are only the "neech". How could a "chaiwallah" become the Prime Minister?

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