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08 December 2017, 12:53 | Darnell Patrick
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi
I am a freelance Congressi, I hold no post in the party, so I can reply to PM in his language.
Congress suspended senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar from primary membership of the party on Thursday after he triggered another storm calling Narendra Modi a neech aadmi (vile man), a comment which was being seen fraught with adverse consequences for the party in poll-bound Gujarat.
Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, Aiyar, reacting to Gandhi's remarks, said: "Why was PM taking a jibe at Congress and Rahul Gandhi at inauguration of a Centre on Baba Saheb Ambedkar?"
Responding to this, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter saying, "BJP and PM routinely use filthy language to attack the Congress party". But if neech also means "low born" then I apologise that I used a word which can be interpreted in many ways, and in the way Modi ji is interpreting it, I have nothing to do with that. "He is not civilised and in a situation like this, there is no need to practise such dirty politics", Aiyar had said.
"I never meant "low born". The Congress has a different culture and heritage.
He asked Modi if he would "display such courage", in an apparent dig at the prime minister for not initiating action against BJP leaders who used similar language to describe Congress leaders.
Prasad said Congress leaders believed that only a heir of the Nehru-Gandhi family is capable of leading the country, which reflects a "highly deplorable mindset". The prime minister who was campaigning in Surat today, quickly latched onto this and said that the comments reflected the "Mughal" mindset of the congress party.
"This person is a "neech aadmi" (low-minded)".
Hours before the end of campaigning for first phase of Gujarat polls, Aiyar's controversial remark against PM Modi brought Congress back in the defensive mode, but Rahul Gandhi interfered timely and stopped the controversy from escalating. "Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said".
Mr Aiyar, who has been with the party for almost three decades, is a longtime loyalist of the Gandhi family. "Can Modiji (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) ever show such conviction?" he added. He even confessed to using another derogatory term, "Nalayak" about former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee, because he did not understand the word's meaning.
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