NEW DELHI: In controversial remarks, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Thursday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a "neech aadmi" (vile man), who does "dirty politics".
"He (Modi) is 'neech kism ka aadmi' (a vile man) who has no 'sabhyata' (civility)," he said, attacking Modi after the latter accused the Congress of seeking votes in B R Ambedkar's but trying to erase his contribution to building India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
They can call me 'neech jaati'. Yes, I am from the poor section of society and will spend every moment of my life to work for the poor, Dalits, tribals and backward classes. That is my culture. They can keep their language, we will do our work.
"They called us donkeys, neech, gandi naali ke keede...the people of Gujarat will give a befitting reply to such derogatory language. The Congress leaders are speaking in a language that is not acceptable in democracy.
We have seen enough insults from them. They insulted me when I was the Chief Minister. They called me 'maut ka saudagar' and wanted to jail me. But our value system is strong. We have nothing to say to such elements. Our answer will come through the ballot box.
Neither shocked nor surprised by Mani Shankar Aiyar’s referring to PM as ‘Neech.’ This is the culture of the Congress Party. People of Gujarat will punish anti-poor, anti-Dalit, anti-Tribal and anti-OBC Congress.
Mani Shankar Aiyer's 'Neech' remark against the Prime Minister displays a mindset that only one elite family can be a ruler and the rest are only the 'Neech'.
The strength of India's democracy will be displayed when a person of humble background politically defeats the dynasty and its representatives.
Ravi Shankar Prasad
Mani Shankar Aiyar called our Prime Minister as ‘neech'. What does this signify? This shows the feudal arrogance and ‘darbari soch' inherent in the Congress party.
They cannot bring themselves to terms with the fact that a person from a less privileged background became the Prime Minister of India. How could a 'chaiwallah' become the Prime Minister? That is the thinking behind this.
They (Congress) are not able to digest that an ordinary man is a Prime Minister. They think they are the royal parties and they deserve to rule but the people of Gujarat will show them there position in Assembly elections.
BJP and Prime Minister 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 Prime Minister. Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said.
Mani Shankar Aiyar (Tendering an apology)
I never meant low-born. There is a difference in the English language between words 'low' and ‘low-born'. But in Hindi, if low means low-born, then I tender an apology.
(With inputs from agencies)