New Delhi: 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.
In a quick damage control exercise, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi immediately deprecated Aiyar’s language against the prime minister and asked him to apologise, which the former Union Minister did, claiming his knowledge of Hindi was not good. He also maintained that he never called Modi a “low born”.
“This is Congress’ Gandhivadi leadership and respect for rivals. Congress has suspended Mani Shankar Aiyar and served him a show-cause notice. Can Modi ever show such courage,” said AICC spokesman Randeep Surjewala asked.
Modi used Aiyar’s comment to launch an attack on Congress on the last day of campaigning for the first phase of Gujarat assembly polls. “Congress leaders are speaking in a language unacceptable in democracy. One Congress leader, who has studied in best institutions, served as a diplomat and was a minister in Union Council, has said Modi is ‘neech.’ This is nothing but a Mughlai mindset.”