Continuing his attack on Mani Shankar Aiyar for the second day in a row, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused the suspended Congress leader of giving ‘supari’ (contract) during a visit to Pakistan with an aim to get him “removed” from the way to ensure peace between India and the neighbouring country.
“After I became prime minister, this man (Aiyar) went to Pakistan and met some Pakistanis. All this thing is available on the social media. In that meeting, he is seen discussing with Pakistanis that ‘jab tak Modi ko raste se hataya nahi jata’ (until Modi is not removed from the way), relationship between India and Pakistan cannot improve,” Modi said, while addressing a gathering of people in small town of Banaskantha district in North Gujarat.
“Someone tell me what is the meaning of ‘raste se hatana’. You had gone to Pakistan to give my ‘supari’, you wanted to give Modi’s ‘supari’ (contract killing),” Modi said, alleging that the Congress had tried to suppress this episode and did not take any action against Aiyar.
The prime minister was referring to a controversy that had erupted in 2015 when Aiyar reportedly made the controversial statement during a talk show in Pakistan.
“This conversation took place three years back. The Congress party had tried to suppress this episode…They did not take any action against him for last three years,” Modi alleged. “What is my crime? This country’s people have elected me in a democratic way, and you go to Pakistan and say that this man is coming in the way and remove him!.” Modi, however, said people need not worry, saying ‘Maa Ambe’ (goddess) is protecting him.
The latest attack comes a day after Aiyar triggered a political firestorm when he called Modi a “neech kism ka aadmi” (lowly person), leaving the Congress red-faced ahead of first phase of voting in Gujarat. However, the party suspended Aiyar from its primary membership and the A K Antony-headed disciplinary action committee issued him a show-cause notice.
Modi also cornered the Congress over its work culture, alleging that the grand old party believes in ‘atkana’ (to stall) ‘latkana’ (to keep the issue hanging) and ‘bhatkana’ (to divert an issue).
Referring to Aiyar’s remarks yesterday, Modi said, “Let us not talk about that abuse, as people of Gujarat will look into it and give a reply and they (Congress) will know the result on December 18.” he said.
In a rally in Surat yesterday, Modi had said, “Shriman (Mr) Mani Shankar Aiyar today said that Modi is of ‘neech’ (lower) caste and is ‘neech’ (lowly). 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.”
With PTI inputs