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). These are some words or phrases the Congress has used for PM Modi in the past. 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.
The comment had backfired on the Congress, as the BJP gained momentum from this statement, and launched its massive "Chai pe Charcha" (chat over tea) campaign.
In his address after inaugurating the Ambedkar International Centre at Janpath, New Delhi, Modi had said that political parties who sought votes in the name of Ambedkar were perhaps not even aware that the project was pending and, asserted, only after BJP came to power that it was fast-tracked.
Amid the development, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi asked Mr. Aiyar to apologise to Mr. Modi. Is this not an insult to Gujarat?
Earlier in the day, Aiyar has called Prime Minister a "neech aadmi" (despicable person) but apologised later when Rahul Gandhi tweeted that the Congress party does not endorse such language and expected Aiyar to apologise.
However, Aiyar's remark not only brought the Congress in a defensive mode, but also triggered a controversy that could be avoided. Rahul, who first disapproved Aiyar's remark and asked him to tender an aplogoy to PM Modi, had to act swiftly to prevent any further damage, as Aiyar did not show signs of remorse. "That is the difference between us and them".
Aiyar, while talking to ANI, said it was the first prime minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who turned Dr Ambedkar's wish into reality and it was not correct to badmouth the Nehru-Gandhi family. Let them keep calling me "Neech" we will not respond. Then PM candidate Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders went to town using Aiyar's comments to portray Congress as an elitist party that does not care about the poor.
Speaking to media, Aiyar said: "My mother tongue is not Hindi and I do not use any filthy words". Aiyar said the comments by the PM showed his low-level mindset and one bereft of any manners.