Congress veteran Mani Shankar Aiyar was back in the news on Tuesday after he launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a newspaper article, calling him “the most foul-mouthed prime minister” India has “seen or is likely to see”, and justifying his “neech kisam ka aadmi” jibe against the PM he had made in 2017. The Congress had then suspended Aiyar from the party for his remark.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said no Indian Prime Minister has been “abused” as much as Modi and asked the Congress to respond to Aiyar’s comments made in an article in Rising Kashmir.
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Aiyar concluded his criticism of the PM with the lines — “Remember how I described him on 7 December 2017? Was I not prophetic?”
“I want to ask the Congress what is its reaction on Mani Shankar Aiyar’s article… in which he has said that his prophecy was accurate,” Singh said.
The Congress first distanced itself from Aiyar’s remarks, saying the article itself made it clear that it was his personal opinion, and accused the Prime Minister of lowering the dignity of his office. Later in the day, it condemned his comments.
Congress chief Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “I’m pushing for a new language in politics. Let’s fight each other brutally on issues. Let’s fight hard on ideology. But… Let’s not use hatred and violence against each other…”
“Aiyar’s statement is not shameful… Yes it is embarrassing for this nation that today we have a Prime Minister who has degraded and downgraded the post of the PM by his language loaded with profanity,” Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said.
Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said, “We strongly condemn all those including Mani Shankar Aiyar who have forgotten the decency of language.”
Speaking to The Indian Express from Shimla, Aiyar said, “You can’t take just two lines out of an article and blow it up… the article raised much more important points… the media is only interested in sensation and not substance.” Asked about Surjewala’s remarks, he said it “appears to have been stating a general principle and not with reference to my article today”.