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Published On: Thu, Dec 7th, 2017

Congress suspends Mani Shankar Aiyar Over “Neech Aadmi” Remark to PM Modi

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NEW DELHI : Congress suspended senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar over his “neech aadmi” remark to the Prime Minister. The party also issued a show cause notice to the leader.

The action against the long-time Gandhi-family loyalist comes as the grand old party heads into an electoral battle in Gujarat. The announcement came after Congress president-in-waiting Rahul Gandhi asked Aiyar to apologise.
Amid the war of words between the Congress and the BJP this election season,  Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar called PM Narendra Modi a “neech kism ka insaan (a lowly person)”.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi promptly distanced himself – and the party – from the remark, saying that he expects Aiyar to apologise to Modi.
“Why was PM taking a jibe at Congress and Rahul Gandhi at the inauguration of a Centre on Baba Saheb Ambedkar? Everyday, the PM is using foul language against our leaders. I am a freelance Congressi, I hold no post in the party, so I can reply to PM in his language,” Aiyar later told reporters.
Responding to questions on his infamous “chaiwalla” remark against Modi before 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Aiyar said: “I never called Mr Modi a ‘Chaiwala’. You can go on the internet and check all the videos”.
Meanwhile, Aiyar, a former Union Minister, sought to clarify his remarks. Pointing to the fact that Hindi is not his mother tongue, Aiyar said, “I meant ‘low level’ when I said ‘neech’. I think in English when I speak in Hindi, as Hindi is not my mother tongue. So if it has some other meaning, then I apologise.” Aiyar hails from Mayiladuthurai in the Cauvery Delta region of Tamil Nadu.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address at a rally in Surat on 7 December, said that the “language used by Congress leaders” is unacceptable in a democracy. He also said that Aiyar’s remark was the outcome of a “Mughlai mindset”.
One Congress leader, who has studied in best institutions, served as a diplomat, was a minister in Cabinet, he said Modi is “neech”. This is insulting. This is nothing but a Mughalai mindset .
“What all have they called us – donkeys, neech, gandi naali ke keede… the people of Gujarat will give a fitting answer to such deplorable language,” Modi told the audience in Surat.

The remarks had come in for wide criticism through the day on Thursday. PM Modi himself referred to it at an election rally in poll-bound Gujarat’s Surat. “Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in a democracy Modi said.

Rahul Gandhi took the opportunity to take a shot at the BJP even as he snapped down on Aiyar’s comment. “BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. The Congress has a different culture and heritage. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer to address the PM. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said,” Rahul had said in a tweet.(With Agency Inputs ).

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