Rahul tells Cong veteran Aiyar to apologise for calling PM a neech man

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the gathering at the ceremony
to dedicate Dr. Ambedkar International Centre to the Nation in New
Delhi on Thursday. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, Dec. 7 (PTI): Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar kicked up a row on Thursday when he called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a neech or vile man, drawing a sharp reaction from Modi who said it was an “insult” to Gujarat and a reflection of “Mughal mentality”.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also disapproved of Aiyar's remarks and said both he and the party expected the senior leader to apologise.

“He (Modi) is neech kism ka aadmi (a vile man) who has no sabhyata (civility),” Aiyar, who has often courted controversy with his off-the-cuff remarks said, attacking Modi after Modi accused the Congress of seeking votes in B.R. Ambedkar's name but trying to erase his contribution to building India.

The prime minister, while inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre earlier in the day, had hit out at the Congress, saying parties seeking votes in the name of the architect of the Indian Constitution's name tried to erase his contribution to nation building.

“Such was his (Ambedkar's) incredible strength that when years after his demise efforts were made by such people to crush his philosophy, when efforts were made to erase his contribution towards nation building, his ideals could not be wiped out from people's memory,” he said.

Modi, who has campaigned extensively for his Bharatiya Janata Party for the Gujarat Assembly elections, said he would not be wrong in saying that “more people are still influenced by his (Ambedkar's) ideas than the family for which such efforts (to erase his contribution) were made”.

Aiyar asked Modi “What is the need for doing dirty politics on such an occasion?”

Modi, who was in Surat, latched on to Aiyar's comments, saying it was an insult to Gujarat.

”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.

”This is Mughal mentality which hates people who even wear good clothes,” he said but asked BJP workers and supporters not to respond to Aiyar's remarks.

The Congress said it strongly disapproved of Aiyar's remarks.

”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 said on Twitter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiling the plaque to dedicate Dr.
Ambedkar International Centre to the Nation in New Delhi on Thursday.
Picture by Prem Singh



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