Veteran Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who kicked up a political row with his ‘neech aadmi‘ remark on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been suspended from the party’s primary membership.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala took to Twitter to announce party’s decision to suspend Aiyar after serving him with a showcause notice.
“This shows the Congress party’s Gandhian leadership and respect for rival political parties. The Congress has issued a showcause notice to Mani Shankar Aiyar and suspended him from primary membership of the party.,” Congress spokesperson Rajdeep Surjewala tweeted, wondering if the Prime Minister would have “courage to do something similar”.
यही हैं कांग्रेस का गांधीवादी नेतृत्व व विरोधी के प्रति सम्मान की भावना।
कांग्रेस पार्टी ने श्री मनी शंकर अय्यर को कारण बताओ नोटिस जारी कर प्राथमिक सदस्यता से निलम्बित कर दिया है।
क्या मोदी जी कभी यह साहस दिखाएँगे? https://t.co/h6MEgvm6Ca
— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) December 7, 2017
Earlier, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said he did not appreciate the tone and language used by Aiyar to address the PM. “Both the Congress and I expect him to apologise for what he said, “ Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet.
Aiyar was quick to respond,he said, he was only responding to the “foul language” being used by the PM daily against Congress leaders. “I am a freelance Congressi, I hold no post in the party, so I can reply to PM in his language,” he said.
Aiyar on Thursday set off a political firestorm when he called Modi a “neech aadmi” (a vile man), a remark the latter claimed was a casteist slur against him.
At a rally in Surat, PM Modi blamed Aiyar’s “Mughal mentality” and warned such remarks would have consequences in elections.
“They can call me ‘Neech’-. 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 OBC communities,” Modi said. “We have nothing to say to such elements.”
Aiyar had managed to put his foot in the mouth ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when he called Modi a ‘chaiwala’.
“I promise you, in the 21st century, Narendra Modi will never become the Prime Minister of the country…. But if he wants to distribute tea here, we will find a place for him,” he had said after an AICC meeting.
His comments backfired as BJP used it as an attack on PM’s humble roots and also convincingly won the elections.