Aiyar stokes trouble for Congress, Modi says 'neech' jibe insult to Gujarat

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After sparking a political firestorm when he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi", senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has been suspended from the party's primary membership.

"He [Mr. Modi] is a neech kism ka aadmi who has no sabhyata [civility]", Mr. Aiyar said after Mr. Modi accused the Congress of seeking votes in the name of B.R. Ambedkar but trying to erase his contribution to building India.

Disapproving Aiyar's comment, Rahul tweeted: "BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said".

Reacting to Aiyar's remark, PM Modi said that the Congress can call him 'neech', but his work is 'oonch'.

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Modi said Aiyar came from a good family, has a number of university degrees, was a diplomat for a number of years and remained a Minister in the Manmohan Singh government, but was resorting to such insults.

Earlier Rahul Gandhi had asked him to apologise for his comments, but instead of giving a clear apology, Aiyar tried to defend his comments under the umbrage of not knowing Hindi properly.

"I meant low level when I said "neech", I think in English when I speak in Hindi as Hindi is not my mother tongue". "Have I done any neech work in my public life?" Aiyar said the comments by the PM showed his low-level mindset and one bereft of any manners.

"Why was PM taking a jibe at Congress and Rahul Gandhi at the inauguration of Ambedkar International Centre?" Nobody knows how many times have Congress leaders used this sort of language against Modi in the past. I never meant low-born.

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"Mani Shankar Aiyar today said I belong to "neech" caste, I am "neech" (vile), this is an insult to Gujarat", he told an election rally. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mani Shankar Aiyar to address the Prime Minister.

He had, in January 2014, before the Modi-wave took the nation by surprise, said "Modi would never become prime minister, but he was welcome to serve tea to Congressmen".

The Congress party has had a lead over the BJP in the election campaign for the Gujarat elections up until now.

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