Hours after Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a ‘neech aadmi’ (vile man), several political leaders came down heavily on Aiyar for his remark. Taking a jibe at Aiyar, news agency ANI quoted Finance Minister Arun Jaitley calling his remarks a ‘well-thought strategy by the Congress to use filthy language about the PM’ even as he accused the party of spreading ‘misinformation’. However, he added, that when there is public outrage the Congress apologises for their remarks.
Jaitley further added that the remark speaks more about the party’s mindset and it was ‘not just a matter of filthy language’. He said the Congress wants only ‘one family’ to rule the country but if someone from the weaker section becomes the prime minister then they call him names like ‘chaiwala’ and ‘neech’.
Speaking to ANI, Jaitley said, “I think it is a well-thought strategy by the Congress, to use filthy language about PM & spread misinformation but when there is public outrage they apologise. It is not just a matter of filthy language but of Congress’ mindset which says that only one family can rule this country and if someone from the weaker section becomes PM then they call him ‘chaiwala’ & ‘neech’.”
After Aiyar’s created a furore, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told him to apologise for his ‘neech aadmi’ remark saying it was not the culture of the Congress Party. “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,” Gandhi tweeted this afternoon.
Meanwhile, PM Modi also lambasted Aiyar for using the word “neech aadmi” (vile man) for him, claiming he was targeted over his caste. During a rally in Surat, PM Modi said Aiyar’s comments were an “insult” to Gujarat. “Shriman (Mr) Mani Shankar Aiyar today said that Modi is of ‘neech’ (lower) caste and is ‘neech’ (vile). Is this not an insult to Gujarat? This is a Mughal mentality where if such a person (who comes from a humble background) wears good clothes in a village, they have a problem,” Modi said.
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also singled out Aiyar’s remarks and said, “Mani Shankar Aiyar has called our PM ‘neech’ but we are proud of our Prime Minister, he has answered (Mani Shankar Aiyar) very politely & sensibly. Aiyar’s mindset is a ‘darbaari’ one.”
Reacting to Aiyar’s remark, RJD Chief Laloo Prasad Yadav said, “Mani Shankar Aiyar is mentally not fit.”
Earlier on Thursday, Aiyar had attacked the prime minister for saying that the Congress tried to erase the contribution of BR Ambedkar in nation-building. Aiyar said the comments by the PM showed his low-level mindset and one bereft of any manners. “Mujhko lagta hai ki ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, isme koi sabhyata nahi hai. Aise mauke par is kisam ki gandi rajniti karne ki kya avashyakta hai? (This shows the low-level mindset of the PM and one bereft of any manners. What is the need of doing such dirty politics on such an occasion).”