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Cong Suspends Mani Shankar Aiyar Over “Neech Aadmi” Remark to PM

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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.

Amid the war of words between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) this election season, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, on 7 December, 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.

Aiyar Apologises

Aiyar, a former cabinet minister, later told reporters that he didn’t mean to use the word “neech”. He claimed his comment had been lost in translation because his Hindi is “poor”.

The senior Congress leader had earlier said:

Yeh aadmi bohot neech kisam ka aadmi hai. Isme koi sabhyata nahi hai. Aur aise mauke par is tarah ki gandi rajneeti ka kya avashyakta hai?

“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.

Mani Shankar AiyarI 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. 

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”.

Criticising Aiyar for his comments Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said: “Mani Shankar Aiyar is a serial offender. You give false facts on inflation and then retract. If you’re unsure of facts and statements, then you’re unfit for public life.”

Modi Responds

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”.

Narendra ModiOne 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.

(With inputs from ANI)

(This is a developing story)

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