Congress suspends Mani Shankar Aiyar over 'neech aadmi' jibe, Modi says his remarks...

The Congress played into the BJP’s hands with one of its senior leaders, Mani Shankar Aiyar, calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “neech” aadmi (low-class person) in a remark reminiscent of his “chai wallah” jibe, also aimed at Modi ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s “maut ka saudagar” (merchant of death) comment dating back to 2007, also targeting Modi.

Modi, campaigning in Gujarat ahead of the first phase of polling to the state assembly on Saturday, lost no time in terming Aiyar’s remark an “insult to Gujarat’s pride”.

The Congress rushed into damage control mode and Aiyar apologised after being chastised by party vice president Rahul Gandhi. He was later suspended from the primary membership of the party but the damage may have already been done.

The BJP and Congress are locked in an intense battle for Gujarat, Modi’s home state, where the BJP has been in power for 22 years.

“Isn’t it an insult to Gujarati asmita (pride)? Isn’t it an insult of Indian ethos? They can call me ‘neech jaati’. Yes, I am from the poor section of the society and will spend every moment of my life to work for the poor, Dalits, tribals and backward classes,” Modi said at an election rally in Surat. As the crowd chanted “Modi, Modi”, he said: “They can keep their language and we will do our work.”

“Ye aadmi bahut neech kisam ka aadmi hai, ismein koi sabhyata...

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