Mani Shankar Aiyar apologizes for 'neech aadmi' remark against Modi

Mani Shankar Aiyar must apologize Rahul Gandhi on'neech remark row

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi

The Gandhi scion said, "I do not appreciate the tone and language used by Mr Mani Shankar Aiyer to address the PM".

"What all have they called us - donkeys, Neech, Gandi Naali Ke Keede.the people of Gujarat will give a fitting answer to such deplorable language", Modi warned, referring to epithets that the Congress has used to describe him, from the time he was chief minister of Gujarat. 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.

Further, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took a jibe at Aiyar, saying the mindset of Aiyar is of a "darbaari" (court man) in the courtroom of Congress. "Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said", Mr. Gandhi tweeted.

Aiyar said the word "neech" has many connotations and he never meant to comment on the Prime Minister's caste. "Baba Saheb Ambedkar's contribution to nation building is very important, there had been attempts to undermine his role, but such attempts were unsuccessful", he said. Let them keep calling me "neech" we will not respond. We will teach them a lesson.

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PM made the remark during the the inauguration of Dr Ambedkar International Centre.

Reporters got around to Aiyar at a function in Delhi's WWF Auditorium Hall and asked him about Modi's attack and Gandhi's suggestion to him to apologize. "The word I used has different meanings and the meaning Prime Minister Modi is making out is not what I meant". I tend to think in English when I speak in Hindi as Hindi is not my mother tongue.

"It is not just a matter of filthy language but of Congress" mindset which resonates that only one family can rule this country.

"The Congress Party has challenged the weaker and backward sections of India by calling the Prime Minister as "neech".

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He had, in January 2014, before the Modi-wave took the nation by surprise, said "Modi would never become prime minister, but he was welcome to serve tea to Congressmen".

Without referring to Aiyar by name, the Prime Minister bemoaned that a well-educated, high-ranking politician was resorting to language that was unbecoming in a democracy.

"If you are unsure of the language or facts, then you are unfit to be in politics", he said.

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