I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar to address Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said in response to Aiyar calling the PM a low-life person.
Hours after Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar put the party on the backfoot ahead of the Gujarat election by calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “low-life person”, he was strongly chastised by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
I do not “appreciate the tone and language” used by Ayiar, Rahul tweeted as he asked the veteran Congressman to apologise for his comments.
“Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said,” Rahul said, after using the opportunity to hit out at the Bharatiya Janata Party for “routinely ” using “filthy language to attack the Congress party.”
“[But] the Congress has a different culture and heritage,” Rahul, who is tipped to take over as Congress president soon, added.
Interestingly, Rahul Gandhi during a recent Gujarat trip had called for “dignified” campaigning that does not “ridicule” the Prime Minister’s Office.
“He [Narendra Modi] is the prime minister of our country and he must be respected. I remember how Manmohan ji was ridiculed when he was the PM. I said we will not do that to Modi ji,” Rahul had said.
Soon after Rahul’s tweet today, Mani Shankar Aiyar issued a clarification and a carefully crafted apology. Aiyar said he used the word “neech” to mean “low” and not “low-born”. I apologise if the comment hurt PM Modi, Aiyar said, adding he realised his comments hurt the Congress.
‘NEECH KISAM AADMI HAI’
Just hours earlier, Aiyar, who famously dismissed Modi as a ‘chaiwallah’ in 2014, said PM Modi was a “low-life” person who is practising “dirty politics”.
“Ye aadmi (PM Narendra Modi) bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, is mein koi sabhyata nahi hai, aur aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajniti karne ki kya avashyakta hai? (This man – PM Narendra Modi is a low-life person, he isn’t cultured… at this moment why does he need to practise such dirty politics?),” Aiyar told news agency ANI.
Aiyar’s comments were in apparent response to PM Narenda Modi subtly attacking Jawaharlal Nehru at a rally in Gujarat earlier today.
Without directly naming Nehru, PM Modi said, “Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s contribution to nation building is very important, there had been attempts to undermine his role, but such attempts were unsuccessful.”
In response, Aiyar told ANI that Jawaharlal Nehru played the biggest role in furthering BR Ambedkar’s wishes, before going on to make his “low-life person” comment.
Soon after Ayiar’s controversial comment, Prime Minister Modi launched a blistering attack on the Congress and Aiyar himself.
Congress leaders are “speaking in a language that is not acceptable in a democracy,” PM Modi said before tearing into Aiyar without expressly naming him.
“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 Mughliya mindset,” PM Modi said at another rally in Gujarat.