The Congress today suspended its senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar from the primary membership of the party and issued him a show cause notice, after he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi" (vile man). "BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party", Gandhi said on Twitter. Congress has a different culture and heritage. I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mani Shankar Aiyar to address the Prime Minister. "Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said", Gandhi tweeted. The prime minister also requested BJP workers and supporters not to respond to Aiyar's remark.
Prasad alleged that Aiyar targetted Modi because the latter had questioned the delayed conferring of Bharat Ratna - the countrys highest civilian award - on Dalit icon Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Reacting to Aiyar's remark, Congress President-to-be Rahul Gandhi on Thursday asked the senior leader to apologise for what he had said. 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". "Have I done any "neech" work?" While PM Modi construed Aiyar's remark as a casteist slur, the Congress too disassociated itself from the seemingly personal attack against the PM.
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Rahul Gandhi, who is set to take over the party as its president, said that condemned Aiyar's comments. "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". They insulted me when I was the Chief Minister. "It is an insult to poor people of India and Gujarat". Modi and his party, the BJP had used the remarks to their advantage while reminding people that he was being targetted for having a humble background.
His clarification has come after he sparked a controversy by calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi".
Jaitley later told reporters that it was part of a Congress strategy to belittle the Prime Minister every day and then say "I will retract".